Women with Sleep Apnea More Prone to Brain Damage

Here’s an interesting study showing that women with untreated obstructive sleep apnea have worse levels of brain damage compared with men. In this particular study, the cingulum bundle and the anterior cingulate cortex, areas which are involved in decision-making and mood regulation, were most affected. The lead investigator was also the first to show that sleep apnea causes major damage to brain cells. As with every paper that studies sleep apnea and brain damage, the authors are always quick to add that they’re not sure if sleep apnea causes brain damage or brain damage causes sleep-breathing disorders. Based on all that we know about the effects of untreated obstructive sleep apnea, I would go with the former explanation.

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2 thoughts on “Women with Sleep Apnea More Prone to Brain Damage

  1. well, if OSA is caused by an anatomical problem, then how could it be brain damage causing it? I understand that airway collapse can be neurologically based, but it is obviously not that across the board.

    this is fascinating, wonder why women would be more affected.

  2. It’s worth getting it chkeecd. The tests are easy enough and the solution is perfectly workable (a CPAP machine to support breathing while asleep) not fun but no real hardship. Sleep apnoea puts a massive strain on the heart and ruins a person’s quality of life (tiredness, moodiness, lack of energy, memory problems, reduced libido) so no one should put up with it. I don’t know of any connection with acid reflux except that both are common among people carrying a few more pounds than their ideal body weight.