Is your partner’s continuous snoring striping you off your beauty sleep? Well, it may be doing him/her more harm than you. Sleep apnea if left untreated may increase your risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and even obesity.
A more detailed research study carried by researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing, has found that people suffering from sleep apnea have weaker brain blood flow that can hurt the brain.
What is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a sleep disorder that occurs when a person’s breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep, hundreds of times a night.
Study: For the study, the researchers measured blood flow in the brain using a non-invasive MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) procedure, which shows the global blood-oxygen level dependent (BOLD) signal.
In this study, men and women – with and without obstructive sleep apnea had their BOLD signals measured during three physical tasks while they were awake. When they looked at the results people with OSA saw a much weaker brain blood flow response in two of the tasks.
“This study brings us closer to understanding what causes the problems in the brain of people with sleep apnoea,” said lead researcher for the study Paul Macey from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing in the US.
Findings: “By using this method, we were able to show changes in the amount of oxygenated blood across the whole brain, which could be one of the causes of damage we see in people with sleep apnea,” Macey added.
“The difference was because signals from the nerves in the arms and legs had to be processed through the high brain areas controlling sensation and muscle movement, which was slower in people with OSA due to the brain injury,” the researchers said.
The study also found the problem is greater in women with sleep apnea, which may explain the worse apnea-related outcomes in females than males. The study appeared in the journal PLOS ONE.