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Snoring And Alzheimer’s

On Behalf of | Feb 17, 2022 | Uncategorized

Sleep-disordered breathing is a medical condition that, in its mild form, causes snoring. Obstructive sleep apnea is a more severe form of sleep-disordered breathing that causes breathing to stop, briefly but repetitively, throughout the night.

There is an association between sleep apnea and an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Recent research may explain the connection between the two. Treatments for sleep apnea may help to improve cognition in Alzheimer’s patients, but more studies are necessary to confirm this.

Toxic protein buildup

Beta-amyloid is a toxic protein associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The glymphatic system is a network of channels in the brain that flushes away waste products such as beta-amyloid. According to Medical News Today, most of this process takes place during the stage of deep sleep, also known as slow-wave sleep.

When sleep apnea disrupts breathing, it prevents the brain from reaching slow-wave sleep, interfering with its waste-removal process. This may cause beta-amyloid and other toxic proteins to build up in the brain, which could account for the increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease in people who snore.

Cognition improvement

Common treatments for sleep apnea include continuous positive airway pressure and dental appliances that open up the airway and facilitate breathing by moving and holding the lower jaw in a forward position. Recent studies of people with Alzheimer’s have demonstrated evidence of improved cognitive function after receiving one or the other treatment for sleep apnea.

The causes of Alzheimer’s disease are complex, and scientists still do not understand them fully. More research with larger samples may demonstrate a more definite link between sleep apnea treatment and improved cognitive function in people with Alzheimer’s. A better understanding of the relationship between the two may help scientists figure out a way to slow disease progression.