Thursday, August 20, 2009

Sleep Apnea and Brain Damage

We have always known that sleep apnea can cause heart disease, but what about sleep apnea and brain damage?

As anyone with sleep apnea will tell you getting out of bed in the morning after a night of waking up constantly is very tiring and emotionally draining. A sleep apnea patient, due to blockage in the airway of the throat, is forced awake when the brain realizes that no oxygen is being received. The sleep apnea sufferer wakes with a snort, and then falls back asleep, repeating this pattern many times each night.

Even though being tired and miserable during the day can be a serious problem with serious consequences the worst of it is the lack of oxygen. Besides being a cause of heart disease and high blood pressure, there is also a connection between sleep apnea and brain damage.

According to a study done by the UCLA school of medicine sleep apnea patients have smaller Mammillary glands than people without sleep disorders. Mammillary glands are located underneath the brain and they are associated with memory. Alcohol abuse can also lead to damage of the Mammillary glands. But it also seems that being born with smaller Mammillary bodies can also lead to sleep apnea.

Without a doubt sleep apnea is a dangerous sleep disorder, if you think that you or your partner may have it seek medical help.

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