Study Finds Link between Alzheimers and Sleep Apnea

Feb, 2021 - By SMI

Study Finds Link between Alzheimers and Sleep Apnea

The scientists/researchers know that both Alzheimer's disease and sleep apnea are related, however, what drives the connection is still unclear. 

The new research has found a link between Alzheimer's disease and sleep apnea, as well as signs of brain damage in both Alzheimer's and sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder in which breathing stops and starts repeatedly. Risk factors include age and obesity. Moreover, according to research was published in the preprint server medRxiv, obstructive sleep apnea might increase the risk of severe COVID-19. The most common cause of obstructive sleep apnea, in adults, is obesity and excess weight. Obstructive sleep apnea has infected more than 936 million individuals worldwide.

Amyloid plaques are known indicators of Alzheimer's disease. The new research has shown that the growth of these amyloid plaques begins at the same place and spread in the same way as in the brains of individuals with obstructive sleep apnea, as in those with Alzheimer's disease. The scientists/ researchers know that both Alzheimer's disease and sleep apnea are related, however, what drives the connection is still unclear.  Moreover, the severity of sleep apnea was associated with a related build-up of amyloid plaques.

The new research found that continuous positive airway pressure, a standard approach to help a person who has obstructive sleep apnea, did not make any difference to the amount of plaques found in the brain. During this research, the team examined the brainstems of around 24 folks with obstructive sleep apnea and the extent of Alzheimer's-like indicators of around 34 individuals. The team looked for both neurofibrillary tangles (another indicator of Alzheimer's) and amyloid plaques. They found both tangles and plaques in the brains of individuals with sleep apnea, the plaques showed a strong link with severe sleep apnea. The research was published in the Sleep journal.

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