Scientists look at link between sleep apnea, stroke

January 7, 2009 2:48:48 PM PST
Scientists think they now know why people with sleep apnea are at a higher risk for stroke. Sleep apnea is a dangerous type of snoring that can cause stroke by decreasing blood flow. That raises blood pressure which then harms the brain's ability to modulate these changes.

Researchers writing in the journal Applied Physiology say the same damage continues throughout the day. They say patients with sleep apnea have difficulty compensating for any change in blood pressure. They call it a carryover effect.

The researchers say it's important for doctors to diagnose this early so there is no significant damage to the brain.