Sleep disorders lead to reduced cognitive ability and old age dementia. That's the 'bottom line' findings from not one but three separate, independent studies which have been completed recently.
In all three studies, abnormal sleep patterns were found to go hand in hand with cognitive impairment.
Dr Constantine Lyketsos, of Johns Hopkins University, said the parallel results from three studies using different methodologies made the findings particularly persuasive.
"It's unusual that we have [multiple] studies coming together at the same time to say the same thing," he said, "which is that sleep disruptions of various kinds throughout the lifespan are probably accelerators of cognitive aging and risk factors for dementia."
A press conference was held to release the findings from the three studies. Representatives of each research group said they believed sleep problems are a cause of cognitive decline.
One obvious mechanism by which sleep problems may cause cognitive impairment is the hypoxia (reduced blood oxygen levels) associated with sleep apnea and hypopnea.
"All three studies basically say the same thing, so that's why for me this is fairly persuasive that there's something about sleep going wrong that's predictive of cognitive change."
The full article can be found here: http://www.medpagetoday.com/MeetingCoverage/AAIC/33820
If you suffer or suspect you (or a loved one) suffer from a sleep disorder, arrange a diagnostic sleep study as soon as possible. This can now be done in the comfort, convenience and privacy of your own home. In most cases, the cost of the sleep study is covered by Medicare (in Australia).
Call today to discuss your concerns with a friendly sleep therapy nurse, or click the button below to make an online enquiry.