Treating sleep apnea may stave off cognitive decline
Heavy snoring and sleep apnea may be linked to early declines in memory and thinking, according to a new study published online April 15, 2015, by the journal Neurology. The research also suggests that treating sleep apnea with a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine may delay the declines.
For the study, researchers reviewed the medical histories for 2,470 people ages 55 to 90 and categorized them as free of memory and thinking problems, in early stages of mild cognitive impairment, or with Alzheimer's disease. For each category, the researchers compared people without sleep apnea, people with untreated sleep apnea, and people with sleep apnea who had used CPAP machines to aid breathing as they slept.