By Wendy Haaf
If you think your memory or thinking ability is slipping, it might be worthwhile to ask your doctor about getting tested for a common sleep disorder, according to the results of a Canadian study.
The research involved 67 people (average age: 73) with cognitive impairment who completed questionnaires on sleep, cognition and mood, and underwent a 30-point assessment of cognitive impairment. An at-home monitor tracked oxygen levels and breathing patterns during sleep. More than half—52 percent—were diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a disorder that causes brief breathing stoppages during which blood-oxygen levels plummet. The finding is important because most people with OSA respond to treatment, typically employing a machine that helps keep their airways open during sleep.
Source: American Academy of Neurology’s 73rd Annual Meeting