Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dementia

Snoring and Sleep Apnea

It has been discovered that there is a definite Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dementia. If you have a history of snoring while sleeping or breathing problems, your breathing may stop between sleep and wake periods. These conditions cause memory impairment which is one of the consequences of untreated sleep apnea. You may very well have a sleep apnea problem. It’s wise to see a professional if you have a breathing problem during sleep.

The pause that happens in your breathing right between sleep and the momentary wakefulness. That restarts breathing is the point at which there is a lack of oxygen to the brain. Those with a breathing problem during sleep can actually wake up with memory loss due to a lack of oxygen to the brain. That’s one of the effects of sleep apnea.

How Does Sleep Apnea Affect the Brain?

The effects of sleep apnea are such that, during sleep, snoring and breathing problems cause patients with sleep apnea to stop breathing whilst sleeping.  This deprives the brain from necessary oxygen. Interrupting sleep is one of the major causes of low oxygen levels at night. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to memory decline and memory impairment, as well as day-time grogginess. It’s also a cause of excessive sleepiness in elderly people.

Patients with sleep apnea will fall asleep, but before they enter REM sleep, they start snoring then stop breathing.  Not only does it deprive the patients with sleep apnea of oxygen when they stop breathing whilst sleeping, it also deprives them of vitally important REM sleep.

Importance of REM Sleep

The body performs specific biological tasks during REM sleep.  This lack of deep sleep takes a toll on the body in people who have a history of snoring. The production of amyloid proteins that form plaque in the brain leads to brain loss.  Blocking communication between neurons. During REM sleep, the production of amyloid proteins slows down. When REM sleep is interrupted, this consequently leads to build-up of plaque, which interferes with memory and synapses in the brain. It’s also a cause of excessive sleepiness in elderly people.

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Short Term Memory Loss?

The short answer to that question is, “Yes, it can and does.” Anyone who has a breathing problem during sleep, should not take it lightly. To stop breathing whilst sleeping is dangerous. If you (or a loved one) go to sleep, start snoring then stop breathing, this could be a serious sleep apnea problem. Snoring and sleep apnea often connect. This is how one can wake up with memory loss.

Consequences of Untreated Sleep Apnea

There are serious consequences of untreated sleep apnea. If you or a loved one have a history of snoring, it’s a good idea to see a doctor who can diagnose sleep problems.

Memory Impairment


Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dementia, Adrafinil, Antiaging Central

Professor of Neurobiology, Ronald Harper, PHD, said, “People always thought the memory deficit was just because their sleep was disturbed and they felt terrible, but it looks to be that the brain is actually injured.  The link between sleep apnea and dementia and the particular brain structure that’s damaged.  One of several that transfer recent memories into long-term memories.”

This type of brain injury is one of the symptoms of oxygen deprivation during sleep. Untreated sleep apnea can lead to greater damage in the mammillary bodies. The link between sleep apnea and dementia this why snoring and breathing problems should not be ignored.  Particularly for those who start snoring then stop breathing. Daytime grogginess is one of the effects of sleep apnea.

Oxygen in the blood drops to dangerous levels when the throat collapses in those who have a breathing problem during sleep.  Without fully waking, the apnea patient rouses enough to gasp for air and the blood oxygen level returns to normal. However, because the brain is flushed with oxygen again and again after breathing starts back up, free oxygen radicals are produced which damage the brain.

Sleep Apnea and Memory Issues

When the mammillary bodies don’t function properly in the brain, memory decline or short-term memory loss can result. New memories take about 5 minutes to be incorporated into long-term memories. Those with short-term memory loss are not able to turn them into long-term memories. This is why they are not able to recall information after about five minutes. Everyone they meet will seemingly be for the first time when five minutes pass.

Shrunken mammillary bodies is in Alzheimer’s disease patients and those with chronic alcoholism and are the main cause of memory decline.

Who is at Risk for Memory Impairment?

Sleep Apnea affects more than 20 million Americans. Since the disorder occurs at night during sleep, many are not aware of it. If you snore or gasp for breath while sleeping at night, or if you wake frequently to use the bathroom, you may have sleep apnea.  The link between sleep apnea and dementia who are heavy drinkers, obese, and people with a lot of loose flesh on their neck.

Symptoms of Oxygen Deprivation During Sleep

The first to recognize nighttime signs of a sleep apnea problem are the bed partners of potential apnea patients. It’s important to know that snoring and sleep apnea go hand in hand. Trouble focusing, excessive sleepiness, headaches and sore throats are warning signs. The link between sleep apnea and dementia.  These are symptoms of oxygen deprivation during sleep. Without treatment, sleep apnea doesn’t usually cure itself.  It’s important to seek medical attention.

B1 (Thiamin) Treatment

Researchers at UCLA are hoping that vitamin B1 supplements may help sleep apnea patients regain some of their lost brain tissue.  This vitamin helps prevents cells from oxygen starvation and is used to treat memory loss in alcoholic patients.

Regular exercise proves to stimulate new brain growth in the hippocampus –this sector of the brain is associate with memory.  The link between sleep apnea and dementia with the memory.

“Snore Machines”

Using a dental devices or a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine wearing at night. The problem patients have with such snore machines is that they are a bit uncomfortable. Yet, these snore machines are proving to be very effective.  Thankfully, improving sleep and consequently, oxygen to the brain.

Link Between Sleep Apnea and Dementia

Sleep Apnea is associated  high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, automobile accidents, and other health. The link between sleep apnea and dementia. Early diagnosis of sleep-disordered breathing is important preventing long-term effects on patients’ health. The link between sleep apnea and dementia.

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