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Published on: July 27, 2012
by Lisa Feierstein RN for Active Healtcare Inc.:
Quality sleep can prevent dementia according to a new study from the Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. This two-year study (2002-2004) took 298 older women with an average age of 82 and determined if their later diagnosed dementia was caused by sleep apnea.
At the time of the study none of the participants had dementia. The study ultimately found a tie between sleep apnea and dementia: the women who had sleep apnea shared a 85 percent higher risk of developing dementia than those who had normal breathing.
The study also found that 60 percent of elderly men and women have some kind of sleep disorder, which can cause future dementia. What if we can reduce this number with more awareness? What if we can reduce the number of elderly in long-term nursing care? What if we can give the elderly more quality years with their children and grandchildren?
The positive news here is that sleep apnea-related dementia is treatable with multiple non-medicine options.
First, Check for the Signs of Sleep Apnea
If you are between the ages of 70 to 90 do you have any these symptoms of sleep apnea?
• Frequent snoring
• History of blood pressure or diabetes
• Frequent change in moods
• Morning headaches
• Dry mouth in the morning
• A bed partner who hears your pauses in breathing
If you’ve said “yes” to two or more of these questions, then please visit your health care provider to have a thoughtful discussion about your sleep.
If it is determined you should go though with a sleep study and you are positive for a diagnosis of sleep apnea, your next step is to manage your treatment with the gold standard, the CPAP device. With the CPAP device, the troubled airway that closes during sleep is kept open with gentle air delivered via a mask.
If you have sleep apnea and have any questions or concerns, please contact the Good Night’s Sleep Experts at firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember, to ensure best success during your therapy, it is recommended that you use your CPAP device every night.
If you try a CPAP device and it does not work for you, consider an alternative therapy, such as Provent, a simple, non-invasive treatment for sleep apnea. But whatever you do, get your sleep apnea treated by a sleep specialist to find your way back to healthy sleep and keep your cognitive health strong for many years to come!
The researchers found that hypoxia, or the lack of oxygen caused by sleep disordered-breathing, was the likely culprit of the women’s dementia. In 2007, five years after the study, the researchers ran tests to detect for dementia and they found 45 percent of the participants who had sleep apnea also had dementia, compared with the 31 percent who did not have sleep apnea.
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