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Dementia and Sleep Apnea

By Craig Smith
August 22, 2019

While many aren’t aware of the severity of the risks associated with untreated sleep apnea, many people do know that sleep apnea is a serious condition that requires proper treatment. Some may know that sleep apnea causes fatigue, sleepiness, headaches, and many other symptoms, but not many people are aware that sleep apnea can cause long term cardiovascular health problems along with other health conditions. In fact,a recent study posted by the American Medical Association has found a link between sleep apnea and dementia. The conducted study showed that sleep apneics are at twice the risk of developing dementia.

Dementia is classified as a disorder that causes a loss of brain function that can affect language, behavior, judgment, memory, and normal thinking processes. Though not every sleep apneic will be diagnosed with dementia, the fact is that the disorder deprives the brain of oxygen which subsequently causes a decline in cognitive ability. Out of the 298 women tested in the study, 32.5% of the subjects were at twice the risk of developing dementia.

Indirect Treatment For Co-Morbidities of Sleep Apnea

Of course, treatment for sleep apnea is meant to treat the issues causing the patient to stop breathing while he or she sleeps, however, with the right type of sleep apnea treatment, effective treatment can also help to protect a sleep apneic from co-morbidities (conditions resulting from sleep apnea) such as dementia. The study did note that with sleep apnea treatment, the onset of dementia could be delayed or even avoided completely.

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