Sleep Apnea is the Canary in the Coalmine
Sleep apnea has played a starring role in a number of my prior posts (see, for starters, this, this and this). It’s never good news. Apnea seems to share a correlation with a vast catalog of undesirable medical conditions, and the list continues to grow weekly. The latest published baddie: Alzheimer’s Disease.
A study out of NYU School of Medicine found that non-obese seniors who carried risk markers for Alzheimer’s Disease were also more likely to experience sleep apnea. As with all such studies, of course, nobody knows which way the causality flows – does fitful sleep cause Alzheimer’s, or does incipient Alzheimer’s somehow include sleep apnea as a symptom? Further confusing matters is the limited scope of the study – the seniors in question merely have markers for the disease, and no one can say for sure how many of them will eventually acquire it. Here’s The Courier Journal:
“This is just a correlation,” said study lead author Dr. Ricardo Osorio, a research assistant professor at the New York University School of Medicine, in New York City. But, he said, the prospect of a connection deserves further study since there may indeed be a link between sleep, aging and memory, which severely declines in Alzheimer’s patients.
“It’s clear that sleep is important for memory, and sleep changes as you get older,” he said. “Disrupted breathing during sleep also increases with aging.”
Sleep matters, is the point. And obstructive sleep apnea need not be a gateway to something more serious to wreak havoc on its own. Thankfully surgical procedures such as septoplasty or turbinate reduction surgery can help you breathe better at night, and also improve your breathing during the day. For a full consultation on your ENT and sinus surgery options, please contact my offices today.