Expert Interview: Dr. A. Joseph Borelli on Brain Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea

In this teleseminar, I interview Dr. A. Joseph Borelli, who is President and Medical director of MRI at Belfair, in Bluffton, SC. He is a leading expert in brain imaging and has an interest in brain imaging in patients with obstructive sleep apnea. He’s going to show some eye-opening radiologic images of your brain after repeated apneas.



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27 thoughts on “Expert Interview: Dr. A. Joseph Borelli on Brain Dysfunction and Sleep Apnea

  1. Do persons with brain dysfunction due to hyoxia apnea trauma have different or adverse reactions to pharmacologic treatments for presenting cognitive or impulse and mood disorders?

  2. Are there are studies showing if cognitive impairment acquired over years with OSA reverse after prolonged CPAP treatment?

  3. I’d like to know what is known about reversal w/ PAP tx of brain damage caused by OSA, and its linkage to dementia. I am recovering from long-undx’d OSA and felt like I was getting dementia. Little is written about cognitive dysfunction in specific. Can this doc help clarify?

  4. Your original email asked what one question…but the website had an error in processing the submission, for some reason.

  5. I am trying to register for the teleseminar above but my form will not process. I get an error page instead. I have decided to complete these boxes as well incase them being left blank is preventing my registration. If you get this can you check to confirm that a place has been resevered for me.

  6. My son got the pandemrix vaccine Jan 2010, since then, weight gain, Sleep apnea, muscle spasms, hallucinations. MSLT Test scheduled this week – can the apnea be linked to any of the components of the vaccine? He is 16 now.

  7. In a small series of case histories, persons receiving sleep studies were asked to employ a simple strategy of taping their mouths closed with hypoallergenic paper tape for half the session. Apneas, O2 Sats, heart rate and all perimeters were significantly improved during the tape portion of the studies. When using thr tape, Clients remained in the back lying position slighy elevating their heads to facillitate mouth closure. Buteyko educators account for this as a consequence of the higher retention of CO2 due to reduced breathing volume in nasal breathing as well as increased nitric oxide from nasal breathing assisting in various ways systemically. Also nasal breathing vs mouth breathing does not encourage slight or exaggerated fight or flight responses which are also exaggerated in apneas .

  8. Does your MRI research reveal which brain chemical, such as dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine, appear to be affected? Are the implications to what medications would work best for sleep apena related depression and fatigue? What is the best resource for medications related to sleep apnea brain dysfunction? What are the implications of sleep apena to REM sleep?

  9. Hi there,

    Dr. David Shirazi is interested in obtaining a CD of the webinar being given tomorrow.
    He can’t attend…

    If someone can please get back to me.


    Crystal Schneider

  10. We have a retrospective study of over 11,000 persons with apnea who were taught the Buteyko method addressing apnea. Most either completely or substantially ended or reduced their apnea without subsequent continuation of CPAP or medications after employing the techniques and protocols over the course of 8 weeks with practice sessions reducing to zero upon reaching adequate proper breathing meaning breathing far less than when they began and near the normal 6 liters of air per minute

  11. Here is the information about why that vaccine was stopped

    The use of vaccines of any kind remains controversial in serious open discussions. It is difficult to sort things out as there is a great deal of posturing and hyperbolae from both sides. Unfortunately, the discussion is quite unbalanced given the huge financial resources of the vaccine manufacturers.

    There are many questions inadequatly answered to my mind. In any case , it seems to me that people and especially parents should have a choice to vaccinate or not in regard to any vaccine which I should imagine was the case for you and your son. However the issue of proper informed consent is often poorly handled. You can walk into any major drug store in the US and get a flu shot and they are extremely shoddy in getting you to go over or even look at the informed consent you should have to sign.
    Further information about all of that can be found at various Internet sites for discussion of vaccine choice.

    Repairing your or your childs system is probably possible. I would suggest among others that you consult Sydney Baker, M.D. And others who have worked a great deal on serious oxidative stresss that occurs subsequent to various insults to the immune response including autoimmune diseases.

  12. I assume you meant CPAP.

    In my Buteyko education classes, I immediately refer anyone who appears from their history to possibly have apnea to get a sleep study if they have nit slready had one recently. This even though I am confident that in most instances , the Buteyko approach will end or substantially reduce the apneas in a rather short time.
    I refer them because even while learning the techniques and theory I teach, a person with apnea is in danger and the presently accepted thing to do is to get a sleep study in which if indeed there are significant apneas etc, people usually have a go at a CPAP machine and most often see an immediate reduction in their symptoms.

    In my or rather Buteyko’s way of thinking, apnea begins mostly as a consequence of over breathing. While the CPAP machine used properly will stop the terrible stress on the person from the apneas and allow them much better quality sleep both of which are crucial for overall health especially heart health, this does little to change their overall breathing. In fact what may be confirmed by Dr. Park and others is that there is usually a need to increase the pressure of the CPAP over time as the person may begin to defeat the lower pressure and create apneas again despite the machines lower setting.

    Even when that is not the case, the person will continue to over breathe which in our thinking contributes to significant other health issues often remaining mouth breathers during the day which in young children contributes to many problems including dental malalignment.

  13. I had to listen a day late to this, but I’m sure glad I took the time. What an amazingly informative program! Thank you, Dr. Park and Borelli. You’re free expert interviews helps makes up for the insane amount of money I had to pay out of pocket (after insurance) for my septoplasty.

  14. I just listened to the interview with Dr. Borelli. One of the callers asked about a dermatitis outbreak.

    I had something similar recently. I’ve been using an ASV for 4-5 months to treat my UARS, but decided to take a one-week break due to increasing gas in my digestive system, and then symptoms of GERD. During the time I was off the ASV I felt fatigued, and the last night even experienced an odd static body pain in my leg joints (relieved by Advil). About a day after I was back on ASV, I developed a terrible rash on my thighs. The dermatologist thought it was contact dermatitis, but that did not fit as I’d been wearing long pants and had made no changes to my clothes, lotion, laundry, etc. After about 1.5 weeks I was put on a 6-day course of prednisone that tapered down every 2 days. The rash was relieved (although not totally gone), but then the withdrawal symptoms made me moody and fatigued. I actually missed 2 days of work, and it reminded me of my UARS symptoms! During the drug taper I developed itchy bumps on random parts of my body, especially my face and genitals. Very odd! I’m still itching and have blotchy patches on my face, but it seems to getting better 2 weeks after the drug ended.

    I, too, have to wonder if there is a connection between the sleep stress hormones and the dermatitis symptoms.

  15. What is simply not bring adequately addressed in all of this is the over breathing that is occurring especially during the day even when the apneas are being handled at night by Cpap or some other breathing regulatory machine or assist.
    In addition, while the apneas may be curtailed or cease, the person is still over breathing at night which causes some restriction in smooth muscle tissue due to the excessive loss of CO2. Moreover, this loss causes respiratory alkalosis which results in poor distribution of oxygen to the cells and tissues as per the Bohr relationship of Co2 to Oxygen. This in turn causes oxidative stress throughout with a build up of lactic acid in the system and various disease aspects come forward.
    Buteyko was so effective with so many diseases because his method was addressing this fundamental physiological functioning.
    Many persons have found their eczema goes away when their breathing normalizes. While CPAP and other apnea interventions can lighten the overall dangerous stress on the person, it does not address this even more fundamental issue of over breathing. Once the over breathing is addressed, most of the time, not only does the apnea disappear, many or all other symptoms abate as well.

  16. My husband has used a MASplint, mostly successfully, for many years, but he has recently taken to breathing abnormally in the early morning. He takes a tiny breath in, then exhales long & heavily, sometimes violently, with an occasional gasp. He does not appear to wake up. Throughout the night he breathes much more gently, with the same minimal inhalation & emphasis on EXHALATION. His resp rate at night is 18-20 . He is irritable in the mornnig & tired during the day, but not as tired as he used to be with uncontrolled OSA before the splint. Since childhood, he has had a vague lung problem described as stickiness, not emphysema, & occasionally has problems with dust & exertion. The breathing I describe has only been happening in the last year, & coinciding with this he has peripheral neuropathy – feet & legs- creeping up the legs. I have the impression that this more recent breathing could be brain related rather than OSA,. but no amount of googling has solved the mystery.

  17. I have mixed apnea. 20% is obstrutive and 80% is centrally mediated apnea. I use the bipap machine faithfully every night. The obstrutive part of the apnea has resolved but the central part of the apnea remains hard to resolve. My central incidents can be as high as 38 per minute. I use the Phillips Respironics DreamStation bipap machine with a nasal facemask. Do you have any suggestions for reducing central apnea events?