Source: Daily News
People whose sleep is disrupted by irregular breathing are much more likely to get dementia or Alzheimer's, a new study suggests.
Elderly men are twice as likely as elderly women to have sleep apnea — a condition during which patients stop breathing while they’re asleep — and other breathing troubles while they sleep, says study author Dr. Ricardo Osorio of NYU Langone Medical Center.
Osorio’s team studied data from 2,500 patients ages 55 to 90 and found that people who had breathing trouble while they slept experienced thinking and/or memory problems about 10 years earlier, on average, than people who didn't. They also got Alzheimer's five years earlier.
The authors cautioned that there’s no direct link between sleep problems and dementia — but also pointed out that some participants who used a breathing machine to fight sleep apnea delayed cognitive problems a by a full decade.
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