Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Brain Damage

Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Brain Damage could be linked according to new evidence.

Researchers from UCLA have recently discovered evidence that OSA, or Obstructive Sleep Apnea can contribute to a blood-brain barrier breakdown. The blood-brain connection protects your brain tissue and helps limit chemicals, infections, and harmful bacteria from attacking the brain. If the blood-brain barrier is compromised, it could cause serious health complications including Alzheimer’s disease, multiple sclerosis, meningitis, epilepsy and stroke.

It is estimated that more than 22 million people in the United States suffer from Obstructive Sleep Apnea. The disorder causes interruptions in breathing while sleeping because of blocked or narrow airways. Some sleep studies have indicated that people with severe OSA can stop breathing as many as 100 times a night.

According to the UCLA study, OSA brain injury can seriously affect your memory and your mood. Gasping while sleeping is just one sign of OSA. Other symptoms may include extreme daytime fatigue, insomnia, irritability, depression, and moodiness.

OSA can damage the brain leading to memory loss, depression, high blood pressure, and anxiety. If that isn’t bad enough, Obstructive Sleep Apnea could also lead to endocrine related problems, lower testosterone levels, diabetes, and stroke.

Researchers believe that the damage to the brain is most probably caused by a lack of oxygen to both the body and the brain. However, doctors are not exactly sure what causes the brain injuries or how they will progress.

The UCLA study found that patients who had been diagnosed with OSA, but had not been treated yet had higher blood – brain barrier permeability than those who had already been treated using various Obstructive Sleep Disorder oral appliances.

Dr. Jack Ringer has specialized training in Oral Appliance Therapy and will work with you and your physician to determine what type of Oral Appliance Therapy would be best for your particular situation. Determining the proper Oral Appliance Therapy is imperative when it comes to treating OSA.

Unlike a CPAP machine, Oral Appliance Therapy helps re-position your lower jaw, soft palate, uvula, and tongue helping to stabilize the tongue and the lower jaw. Oral Appliances, much like a sports mouth guard or an orthodontic retainer can also increase the muscle tone of your tongue.

If you or someone you know, is suffering from OSA call or click and schedule an appointment with Dr. Ringer who can help determine what steps need to be taken so that you can sleep better. Call or click now.

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