Study reveals that Sleep apnea is linked to dementia

August 10th, 2011 - 9:50 pm ICT by Aishwarya Bhatt  

San Francisco, Aug 10 (THAINDIAN NEWS) A new study has found that sleep apnea is linked to memory degradation and dementia. The study was conducted by a group of researchers led by Dr. Kristine Yaffe.

Yaffe is a professor of psychiatry, neurology and epidemiology at the University of California, San Francisco. Sleep apnea occurs when breathing is disrupted as a person sleeps. The condition is known to have effect on the brain because it disrupts the flow of oxygen to the organ.

Yaffe explained that the study “suggests that there is a biological connection between sleep and cognition and also suggests that treatment of sleep apnea might help prevent or delay the onset of dementia in older adults.”

The study was conducted on about 300 women. All the subjects were aged 65 years and above. The researchers noted at the end of the study that almost half – 44.8 percent- of the participants who had sleep apnea lost memory capabilities or developed dementia. In those who did not have sleep apnea, only 31.1 percent of them developed cognitive impairment and dementia after the study period.

The study and the findings were published in the Journal of the American Medical Association on the 10th of August.

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