Association of Sleep Apnea with Alzheimer Disease Biomarkers in Older Adults


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Sleep apnea linked with Alzheimer's–like changes to the brain

In a new study, French scientists scanned the brains of older adults. They found an association between sleep apnea and the presence of amyloid plaques and other biological changes associated with inflammation and Alzheimer’s disease. . . .

The study team found that approximately 75% of the participants had sleep apnea, and there was a marked accumulation of amyloid protein in their brains compared with people who slept without interruption.

This type of protein accumulation is characteristic of Alzheimer’s disease when the protein forms plaques on the brain.

They also found significantly greater gray matter volume and increased neuronal activity in brain regions associated with Alzheimer’s disease — namely, the posterior cingulate cortex and precuneus areas. These observations suggest inflammation in this area of the brain. . . .