Heavy snoring and sleep apnoea may be linked to memory loss and cognitive decline at an earlier age than normal, according to a new study.

The study found that those who experienced sleep breathing problems were diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) on average almost 10 years earlier than those who exhibited no breathing issues while sleeping.

But early treatment of snoring or breathing problems during sleep, known as sleep apnoea, with a breathing machine may halt mental decline.

Looking specifically at individuals who developed MCI or Alzheimer’s disease during the study, those with sleep breathing problems were diagnosed with MCI at an average age of 77, compared to 90 for those without breathing issues during sleep.

While those who were treated for their sleep breathing problems did not suffer from MCI until 10 years later than those who had not been treated.

Dr Ricardo Osorio, the lead author of the study who is based at NYU Langone Medical Center, said: “The age of onset of MCI for people whose breathing problems were treated was almost identical to that of people who did not have any breathing problems at all.”.. see more

source: Independent UK