Yaffe and her team gave an overnight sleep apnea test to 298 women without dementia, who were an average of 82 years old. The test looks for changes in breathing and oxygen flow during the night, as well as for the short, frequent breaks in sleep that are signs of sleep apnea.
Just over a third of the women had the disorder.
By contrast, only 31 percent of women who did not have sleep problems developed thinking and memory problems.
"It makes sense that good sleep is going to be protective to the brain," said Robert Thomas, who studies sleep at Harvard Medical School in Boston and was not involved in the "We simply don have data to answer many of the simple questions people may have in the sleep clinic," he told Reuters Health.
"Among older women, those with sleep disordered breathing compared with those without sleep disordered breathing Nike Sb Hoodies had an increased risk of developing cognitive impairment," wrote Yaffe and her colleagues in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
About five years later, those same women were brought in for a set of thinking and memory tests, with doctors evaluating any of those who showed signs of memory decline.
not clear whether treating sleep apnea, which is especially common in older, overweight people, would help prevent that memory decline, partly because clear answers have been lacking on the link between problem sleeping and memory.
But researchers still don know to what extent treatment, which involves wearing a mask that delivers pressurized air from a "CPAP" machine to ease breathing at night, can prevent the complications of sleep apnea, including cognitive decline.
Sleep apnea has been linked to a host of other problems, including high blood pressure and cholesterol. Researchers pointed to lower blood flow to the brain during sleep as a possible culprit in cognitive problems down the line.
But the study, which looked at nearly 300 women and was led by Kristine Yaffe of the University of California, San Francisco, found that a little over 45 percent of women who had signs of sleep apnea in initial tests had developed mild cognitive impairment or dementia five years Nike White Jacket
When Yaffe and her colleagues took factors such as race, weight and other diseases and medications into consideration, women Nike Windrunner Armory Navy
Thomas said that not everyone with sleep apnea has symptoms, which include fatigue and snoring, and that people who are overweight or have heart and blood pressure diseases should also consider getting tested.
Sleep apnea linked to memory decline
with sleep apnea were almost twice as likely to test positive for cognitive impairment or dementia.
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