Sleep Apnea

Snoring can worsen heart function, especially in women – Medical News Today

By Heart Health, Sleep Apnea, Snoring, Women's Health No Comments

According to a recent study, snoring and sleep apnea may affect cardiac function in women earlier than in men. Women who snored were more likely to have a significant increase in left ventricular mass, making the heart work harder to fulfill the body’s needs.

Findings also suggested that obstructive sleep apnea may be vastly underdiagnosed among snorers.

Treating Sleep Apnea Greatly Improves Stroke Patients’ Recovery – Sleep Review

By Brain Health, Heart Health, Sleep Apnea No Comments

A large study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association found that starting treatment for sleep apnea as early as possible after a stroke or a mini-stroke significantly improves recovery and clinical outcome.

According to the lead author, Dawn Bravata, MD, “We have shown, for the first time in a randomized controlled study, that for individuals who have had a stroke or a TIA—a transient ischemic attack, also known as a mini-stroke— the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea with CPAP therapy provides significant benefits, even greater than the benefits of tPA [tissue plasminogen activator], the FDA-approved drug treatment for stroke.” 

The study followed 252 individuals who had strokes or TIAs for up to one year after the event. Two-thirds of the study participants were effectively using CPAP therapy for sleep apnea. Preliminary data suggests that the earlier sleep apnea was treated in stroke patients, the more potent the effect of that treatment. 

Sleep disorder linked with changes to brain structure typical of dementia – Science Daily

By Brain Health, Sleep Apnea No Comments

According to a study published in the European Respiratory Journal, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with structural changes in the brain that are also found in the early stages of dementia.

The study evaluated 83 people, aged 51 to 88 years, who had reported cognitive decline. Findings showed that patients who had low levels of blood oxygen during sleep tended to have reduced thickness in the left and right temporal lobes of the brain, and that this alteration was associated with poorer encoding of new information. In addition, the researchers observed that patients with signs of OSA were more likely to have increased thickness in other areas of the brain.

The authors are continuing their research to determine whether diagnosing and treating OSA could prevent, or even improve cognitive decline in its early stages.