How Sleep Apnea Injures Your Brain

Patients with sleep apnea have an elevated risk of stroke if they also have higher serum levels of certain precursors to coronary artery disease and lesions associated with silent brain infarction.

Researchers examined silent brain infarction and brain tissue death in 50 male patients with sleep apnea. The percentage of silent brain infarction was higher for those with moderate to severe sleep apnea (25 percent) than it was for obese subjects with similar problems (6.7 percent).

Use of nCPAP, which is designed to reduce episodes of stopped breathing associated with sleep apnea, also lowered serum levels of proteins associated with cerebrovascular disease.

American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Vol. 175, No. 6, March 15, 2007: 612-617

Asbury Park Press March 19, 2007

EurekAlert March 15, 2007


Dr. Mercola's Comment:

You may recall a study I ran last year about the incidence of sleep apnea affecting the brain health of young children. This study suggests the damage also extends to adults, who may face a greater likelihood of stroke too.

Typically, normalizing your weight by eating foods appropriate for your body's unique nutritional type and eliminating grains and sugars from your daily diet can help you stabilize this problem.

Being overweight increases the risk of sleep apnea, and dairy and wheat products can also be a cause of apnea in some.

You'll want to review my 33 Secrets to a Good Night's Sleep, another valuable tool to use, when facing sleep apnea or any other quality-of-sleep issue.

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