Recent research is suggesting that those who have what is referred to as “disordered breathing” while asleep may be at increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
Obstructive sleep apnea manifests itself when asleep as excessively heavy breathing usually accompanied by periods where there is no breathing for a minute or more. As well as disturbed nights for the sufferer, it could play a part in the development of Alzheimer’s disease.
Research has shown that sufferers of this condition have increased biomarkers for amyloid beta. This is the plaque-building peptide found in brains of those suffering from Alzheimer’s.
Over time, sufferers of apnea built up more brain amyloid than sleepers who do not suffer.
Of course, like any recent discovery, more research and sleep trials will need to be carried out but, like all discoveries, it could one day lead to or help with treatment or prevention of this condition.