Saturday May 25, 2019

Sleep Apnea Linked with Alzheimer’s Marker: Study

The researchers identified 43 participants, 15 per cent of the study group, whose bed partners witnessed apneas when they were sleeping

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A lady suffering from Alzheimer's. Flickr

Researchers have found a link between sleep apnea and increased levels of a toxic brain protein commonly associated with Alzheimer’s disease.

The findings suggests that people suffering from sleep apnea may have higher accumulations of an Alzheimer’s disease biomarker called tau in an area of the brain that helps with memory.

Those who had apneas had on average 4.5 per cent higher levels of tau in the entorhinal cortex than those who did not have apneas, suggests the study presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 71st Annual Meeting in Philadelphia.

Tau, a protein that forms into tangles, is found in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease.

“Our research results raise the possibility that sleep apnea affects tau accumulation. But it is also possible that higher levels of tau in other regions may predispose a person to sleep apnea,” said co-author Diego Z. Carvalho from Minnesota’s Mayo Clinic.

According to the researchers, obstructive sleep apnea is a condition that involves frequent events of stopped breathing during sleep, although an apnea may also be a single event of paused breathing during sleep.

"The question for us now is not how to eliminate cholesterol from the brain, but about how to control cholesterol's role in Alzheimer's disease through the regulation of its interaction with amyloid-beta," Vendruscolo said.
In Alzheimer’s disease, patients start losing memory. Pixabay

“A person normally has fewer than five episodes of apnea per hour during sleep,” Carvalho added.

For the study, the research team involved 288 people of age 65 and older who did not have cognitive impairment.Bed partners were asked whether they had witnessed episodes of stopped breathing during sleep.

Participants had positron emission tomography (PET) brain scans to look for accumulation of tau tangles in the entorhinal cortex area of the brain, an area of the brain in the temporal lobe that is more likely to accumulate tau than some other areas.

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This area of the brain helps manage memory, navigation and perception of time.

The researchers identified 43 participants, 15 per cent of the study group, whose bed partners witnessed apneas when they were sleeping. (IANS)

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Women with Sleep Apnea at Greater Cancer Risk, Warn Researchers

The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group

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Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer.
The actress was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year. Pixabay

Women with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than men with the condition, warn researchers.

Common symptoms of sleep apnea, include snoring, disrupted sleep and fatigue.

“Our study of more than 19,000 people shows that the severity of OSA is linked to a cancer diagnosis,” said study lead author Athanasia Pataka, Assistant Professor at Aristotle University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

“This link was especially strong in the women that we analysed, and less so in the men, and the study suggests that severe OSA could be an indicator for cancer in women, though more research is needed to confirm these findings,” Pataka explained.

In people suffering from OSA, the airways close completely or partially many times during sleep, reducing the levels of oxygen in the blood.

Cancer patient
Cancer patient.

The researchers analysed data from 19,556 people (5,789 women and 13,767 men) included in the European Sleep Apnoea Database (ESADA) to explore the link between OSA severity, low blood oxygen levels and cancer development.

The researchers looked at the number of times the participants experienced partial or complete airways closure per hour of sleep, as well as the number of times their blood oxygen levels dropped below 90 per cent at night.

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The data showed that 2.8 per cent of all women had been diagnosed with a serious cancer compared to 1.7 per cent of all men in the group.

The study, published in the European Respiratory Journal, suggests that people who experience more closures of the airways during sleep and whose blood oxygen saturation levels drop below 90 per cent more frequently are more likely to be diagnosed with cancer than people without OSA. (IANS)