Sleep apnea linked to memory trouble

June 11, 2008 2:16:10 PM PDT
A new study links sleep apnea to memory loss. People with sleep apnea stop breathing and awaken repeatedly during the night. A study at the University of California reports sleep apnea patients show tissue loss on brain regions that help store memory.

Researchers used MRI to scan the brains of 43 sleep apnea patients, focusing on structures on the underside of the brain. Results showed their brain structures were 20 percent smaller than those without sleep apnea.

Scientists say repeated drops in oxygen experienced by sleep apnea patients may lead to brain injury. The study is published in the June 27 issue of Neuroscience Letters.


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