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Sleep Apnea Symptoms Tied to Cognitive Issues

A recent preliminary study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 76th Annual Meeting suggests a possible connection between sleep apnea and memory/thinking problems. The study, conducted by Dominique LowMD, MPH of Boston Medical Center, found that participants with sleep apnea symptoms were more likely to report memory or thinking issues compared to those without such symptoms.

Sleep apnea is a common disorder characterized by repeated pauses in breathing during sleep, leading to decreased oxygen levels in the blood. Symptoms include snorting, gasping, breathing pauses, morning headaches, and difficulty concentrating on tasks. Despite being underdiagnosed, effective treatments like continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines are readily available.

The study involved 4,257 participants who completed questionnaires on sleep quality, memory, and thinking problems. Results showed that 33% of individuals with sleep apnea symptoms reported memory/thinking problems, while only 20% of those without sleep apnea symptoms reported similar issues.

After adjusting for factors like age, race, gender, and education, researchers found that individuals with sleep apnea symptoms were approximately 50% more likely to experience memory or thinking problems. Early screening for sleep apnea is essential to prevent cognitive decline, and interventions like CPAP machines can help improve sleep quality and overall brain health.

While the study has its limitations, such as self-reported symptoms and no medical professional assessments, further research is needed to monitor the long-term impact of sleep apnea on cognition. To learn more about sleep apnea and its potential effects on memory and thinking, visit BrainandLife.org, the American Academy of Neurology’s platform dedicated to neurologic disease and brain health.

Make sure to follow the American Academy of Neurology on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates on neurology research and upcoming events. And when discussing this study online, remember to use the hashtag #AANAM to join the conversation. Stay informed and prioritize your brain health with the latest insights from the world’s largest association of neurologists and neuroscience professionals, the American Academy of Neurology.

For more information about the American Academy of Neurology and its research, visit AAN.com or explore their social media profiles on various platforms. Take control of your brain health and stay connected with the latest advancements in neurology and cognitive research.

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