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Treating Sleep Apnea to Cut Risk of Dementia

Researchers at Monash University are exploring the implications of treating obstructive sleep apnea to reduce the risk of dementia. This comes after finding a link between severe untreated OSA and the protein “beta-amyloid” that builds up in the brain, increasing the risk of dementia.


The study, published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, and led by Dr Melinda Jackson from the Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, found that severe OSA is linked to an increase in a protein, called beta-amyloid, that builds up on the walls of the arteries in the brain and increases the risk of dementia.

The study involved 34 individuals with recently diagnosed untreated OSA and 12 individuals who were asymptomatic for sleep disorders.

It explored associations between brain amyloid burden using a PET brain scan, and measures of sleep, demographics and mood.

Findings

The OSA group recorded a higher amyloid burden, poorer sleep efficiency and less time spent in stage N3 sleep (a regenerative period where your body heals and repairs itself).

OSA is a common sleep disorder, affecting about 1 billion people worldwide. It is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep, resulting in intermittent dips in oxygen levels and arousals from sleep.

“The significance of finding the association between increased brain amyloid in patients with OSA will allow for further research to explore in more detail the implications of treating OSA for reducing dementia risk,” Dr Jackson said.

SOURCE:

REFERENCE:

  • Melinda L. Jackson, Marina Cavuoto, Rachel Schembri, Vincent Doré, Victor L. Villemagne, Maree Barnes, Fergal J. O’Donoghue, Christopher C. Rowe, Stephen R. Robinson. Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated with Higher Brain Amyloid Burden: A Preliminary PET Imaging Study. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 2020; 78 (2): 611 DOI: 10.3233/JAD-200571

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B. Berger

B. Berger

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This site was inspired by my Mom’s autoimmune dementia.

It is a place where we separate out the wheat from the chaffe, the important articles & videos from each week’s river of news. With a new post on Alzheimer’s or dementia appearing on the internet every 7 minutes, the site’s focus on the best information has been a help to many over the past 15 years. Thanks to our many subscribers for your supportive feedback.

The site is dedicated to all those preserving the dignity of the community of people living with dementia.

Peter Berger, Editor

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