A study recently publish in Neurology has found that sleep apnea may be associated with early cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers also found that the use of a continuous positive airway pressure machine (CPAP) may delay the onset of such mental decline. The study included 2,470 participants with an average age of 73 years. The results showed a statistically significant association between participants with sleep apnea and early cognitive impairment by an average of about 10 years sooner than those without the breathing disorder. Additionally, participants with sleep apnea that were treated with CPAP machines had a delayed onset of cognitive decline by about 10 years. Although the results were statistically significant, the authors stress that the study has yet to prove a causal relationship. How often do you counsel patients about sleep and sleep disorders?
For more information, please see Neurology.
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