Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Women with sleep apnea have a greater chance of brain damage


Sleep apnea can be the cause of a great many health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and emotional problems. One other problem that may occur due to sleep apnea is brain damage. In a previous post I wrote the following about the connection.

“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.”
Now from a new study from the UCLA School of Nursing suggests that women have a greater chance of brain damage from sleep apnea than men.
According to the UCLA Newsroomthe study found that women were impacted in the cingulum bundle and the anterior cingulate cortex, areas in the front of the brain involved in decision-making and mood regulation. The women with sleep apnea also showed higher levels of depression and anxiety symptoms, the researchers said.”
Apparently the first tests that were done over 10 years ago focused mainly on men or groups of men and women.  This study certainly suggests that women should be as tested for sleep apnea just as much as for men if not more.
Sleep apnea can be diagnosed by having a sleep study done where the patient spends the night being monitored to see if they have any interrupted sleep or apnea. If that is the case the typical remedy is using one of the forms of the CPAP machine which blows air into the throat so your breathing wouldn’t be cut off during the night. In some cases surgery is also suggested.

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