Breathing problems during sleep may signal an increased risk for Alzheimer’s disease, a trio of studies suggests.
And, the researchers added, treating conditions like sleep apnea and hypopnea (shallow breathing) might lower the risk of dementia, or at least slow its progression.
“What’s exciting about these three studies is that they are looking at biological changes in the brain that may underlie a relationship between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease,” said Keith Fargo. He is director of scientific programs and outreach at the Alzheimer’s Association.
Fargo cautioned, however, that these studies only show an association between sleep problems and Alzheimer’s disease, and not a cause-and-effect link.