More evidence for the cognitive benefit of treating sleep apnea

December, 2010

Another study has come out showing the benefits of CPAP treatment for cognitive impairment caused by obstructive sleep apnea.

Comparison of 17 people with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with 15 age-matched controls has revealed that those with OSA had reduced gray matter in several brain regions, most particularly in the left parahippocampal gyrus and the left posterior parietal cortex, as well as the entorhinal cortex and the right superior frontal gyrus. These areas were associated with deficits in abstract reasoning and executive function. Deficits in the left posterior parietal cortex were also associated with daytime sleepiness.

Happily, however, three months of treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), produced a significant increase in gray matter in these regions, which was associated with significant improvement in cognitive function. The researchers suggest that the hippocampus, being especially sensitive to hypoxia and innervation of small vessels, is the region most strongly and quickly affected by hypoxic episodes.

The findings point to the importance of diagnosing and treating OSA.

Reference: 

Related News

A study involving 75 perimenopausal women aged 40 to 60 has found that those with memory complaints tended to show impairments in

A small study of the sleep patterns of 100 people aged 45-80 has found a link between sleep disruption and level of amyloid plaques (characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease).

One survey of nearly 200 undergraduate college students who were not living with a parent or legal guardian found that 55% reported getting less than seven hours sleep. This is consistent with other surveys.

Sleep can boost classroom performance of college students

Growing evidence links obesity and poorer cognitive performance. Many factors associated with obesity, such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and sleep apnea, damage the brain.

A study involving 200 older adults (70+) experiencing a stay in hospital has found that at discharge nearly a third (31.5%) had previously unrecognized low cognitive function (scoring below 25 on the MMSE if high-school-educated, or below 18 if not).

A study involving 1426 long-term survivors of childhood cancer (survivors of eight different childhood cancers who were treated between 1970 and 1986) has revealed cognitive impairment in over a fifth.

From the Whitehall II study, data involving 5431 older participants (45-69 at baseline) has revealed a significant effect of midlife sleep changes on later cognitive function. Sleep duration was assessed at one point between 1997 and 1999, and again between 2002 and 2004.

In a study involving 44 young adults given a rigorous memorizing task at noon and another such task at 6pm, those who took a 90-minute nap during the interval improved their ability to learn on the later task, while those who stayed awake found it harder to learn.

A study involving 48 healthy adults aged 18-39 has found that extraverts who were deprived of sleep for 22 hours after spending 12 hours in group activities performed worse on a vigilance task that did those extraverts who engaged in the same activities on their own in a private room.

Pages

Subscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest newsSubscribe to Latest health newsSubscribe to Latest news