As more research is done, we learn more about other connections with sleep apnea. This shows that it is important to seek treatment for sleep apnea. The latest connection that researchers have uncovered is a link between dementia and sleep apnea. Here is what we know about the link between sleep apnea and dementia.
What is the link?
Obstructive sleep apnea can lead to an increased risk of dementia. A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease found that severe sleep apnea is linked to an increase in a protein called, “beta-amyloid.” This protein builds up on the walls of the arteries in the brain and increases the risk of dementia.
The researchers looked at 34 individuals with untreated sleep apnea and 12 who were asymptomatic for sleep disorders. For those with sleep apnea, there was a higher amyloid burden, poorer sleep efficiency and less time spent in stage N3 sleep, which is a regenerative period where your body heals and repairs itself.
While more research is needed, this will allow us to explore in more detail the true implications of treating sleep apnea for reducing dementia risk.
Seek treatment for sleep apnea
Knowing this connection means it is vital that you receive treatment for sleep apnea. One solution is oral appliance therapy, which has been endorsed by the American Sleep Disorder Association. Most patients suffer from mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea, which means oral appliance therapy can be the most successful form of treatment.
Contact us today to learn more about sleep apnea and to find out if you are an appropriate candidate for oral appliance therapy.