Treating Sleep Apnea May Lower Dementia Risk Among Older Adults

putting cpap machine on head and faceA new study from Michigan Medicine’s Sleep Disorders Centers has found that treating sleep apnea may reduce the risk of dementia among seniors. Researchers looked at patients who received positive airway pressure therapy and found that they were less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease and other cognitive impairment issues later in life.

The study analyzed claims of more than 50,000 Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 and older who had recently been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea. Over three years, it was found that patients who used positive airway pressure therapy were less likely to receive a new diagnosis of dementia or mild cognitive impairment. These results were compared to patients who did not regularly practice positive airway pressure therapy.


“We found a significant association between positive airway pressure use and lower risk of Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia over three years, suggesting that positive airway pressure may be protective against dementia risk in people with OSA,” says lead author Galit Levi Dunietz, Ph.D., M.P.H.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition where the upper airway collapses throughout the night. This can prevent normal breathing which has been associated with numerous other health conditions, including neurological and cardiovascular diseases.

Dementia is a condition that is prevalent throughout the United States. Approximately 5.8 million American’s are currently living with the condition, which shows that steps need to be taken to reduce these numbers.

Physicians need to address sleep apnea in patients to prevent other illnesses or diseases, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cognitive decline. This study helps shed light on the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea and the risk of dementia. By offering effective treatment of sleep apnea, the risk of cognitive decline in older adults could be reduced.

Author Bio

Sarah began her interest in nutritional healing at an early age. After going through health problems and becoming frustrated with the conventional ways doctors wanted to treat her illness (which were not working), she took it upon herself to find alternative treatments. This led her to revolutionize her own diet to help her get healthier and tackle her health problems. She began treating her illness by living a more balanced lifestyle through healthy food choices, exercise and other alternative medicine such as meditation. This total positive lifestyle change led her to earn a diploma in Nutritional Therapy from Health Sciences Academy in London, England. Today, Sarah enjoys helping others by teaching healthy lifestyle changes through her personal consultations and with her regular contributions to the Doctors Health Press. Also, passionate about following her dreams in life, Sarah moved to France and lived in Paris for over 5 years where she earned a certification in beadwork and embroidery from Lesage (an atelier owned by Chanel). She then went on to be a familiar face sitting front row and reporting from Paris Fashion Week. Sarah continues to practice some of the cultural ways of life she learned while in Europe. They enjoy their food, and take the time to relax and enjoy many of life’s little moments. These are life lessons she is glad to have brought back home with her.


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