Patients with sleep apnea were, on average, diagnosed with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) nearly 10 years earlier than those who didn’t suffer from breathing problems during their slumber, according to New York University researchers.
The timespan for developing Alzheimer’s also seemed to speed up: Those with sleep apnea were diagnosed, on average, five years sooner than sound sleepers, the authors reported.
“This study is adding to the emerging story that sleep apnea may be contributing in some way to the acceleration of cognitive decline as you age,” said study coauthor Dr. Andrew Varga, an instructor in medicine at the New York University Sleep Disorders Center. “And that is potentially another good reason to get evaluated and treated.”
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