Yes Sleep Apnea can lead to Alzheimer’s disease. Because a bad night’s sleep is not harmless.
According to Scientists, from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), adults who experienced one single night of sleep deprivation displayed increased levels of beta-amyloid – also known as amyloid beta.
This is a sticky protein that can accumulate between brain cells and form “plaques”, which disrupt brain cell communication, and is believed to play a key role in Alzheimer’s disease. This brain plaque buildup is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease.
So think about this question:
If just one night of poor sleep increases your levels of the beta-amyloid protein which is linked to Alzheimer’s. Then what do you think happens to your brain when you have sleep apnea and get a poor night’s sleep almost every single night?
I believe the answer is that untreated Sleep Apnea may exacerbate memory and thinking declines, leading to earlier diagnoses of mild cognitive impairment and significantly increase your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease.
Obstructive sleep apnea is characterized by the occasional inability to breathe while asleep, due to a collapse of the airway. This causes the sleeper to wake up repeatedly during the night whenever breathing becomes difficult, resulting in disturbed sleep patterns. This disruption in sleep, due to sleep apnea, can very likely lead to a buildup of the Beta-amyloid plaques, which disrupt brain cell communication, and are believed to play a key role in Alzheimer’s disease.
And it gets worse because the timespan for developing Alzheimer’s is likely to speed up for those diagnosed with untreated sleep apnea. According to research done at New York University patients with sleep apnea were, on average, diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) nearly 10 years earlier than those who didn’t suffer from breathing problems during their sleep.
Alzheimer’s disease is:
- An irreversible, progressive brain disorder
- That slowly destroys memory and thinking skills
- And eventually takes away the ability to carry out the simplest tasks.
Please take care of yourself! If you have untreated sleep apnea then please get it treated right away.
It’s not worth taking the health risk, because if Sleep Apnea is left untreated you may unnecessarily bring Alzheimer’s disease upon yourself and what’s worse is that it may happen at a much early age then those that properly treat their sleep apnea.
Play it safe, treat your Sleep Apnea and take care of your health.