More Connections Between Alzheimer’s and Sleep Apnea
May 29, 2009
This is a study that Dr. Mack Jones mentioned during my interview with him a few months ago about a mice developing Alzheimer’s-like brain findings after chronic oxygen deprivation.
Amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles are the two hallmark findings on autopsy studies in patients with Alzheimer’s. Accumulation of amyloid-β protein is the major component of plaques, which is derived from a breakdown of β-amyloid precursor protein (APP) by an enzyme called β-site APP cleavage enzyme (BACE1). It turns out that hypoxia (lowered levels of oxygen) stimulates BACE1 activity, which cleaves APP, leading to more accumulation of β-amyloid protein. This was reported in The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal in 2006. The study authors placed mice in hypoxic environments (16 hrs/dy for one month) and looked at their brains after being sacrificed. They found significantly increased numbers of amyloid plaques compared with control mice. These plaques were also histologically very similar to what humans have with Alzheimer’s.
My question to you is: What common medical condition that I mention all the time causes hypoxia for 8 hours every night for years or decades?