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Study Links Sleep Apnea to Language Memory Decline

Daniel Kim Views  

A study has found that the severity of sleep apnea during the REM (Rapid Eye Movement) sleep stage can negatively impact language memory. REM sleep is a shallow sleep stage close to wakefulness, signified by rapid eye movement.

The study suggests a conclusion that the more severe sleep apnea during the REM sleep stage, the more negative the impact on language memory published in the journal Alzheimer’s Research & Therapy.

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a condition that disrupts sleep by stopping or interrupting breathing while asleep. Previous studies have shown that OSA is associated with cognitive impairment, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, and other neurological disorders.

This study aimed to reveal the association between sleep apnea during the REM sleep stage and language memory.

The researchers described language memory as recalling words in their correct context. This includes remembering a street name at an intersection, a person’s name, or the association between words. They emphasized that language memory is often one of the first types of memory to deteriorate due to Alzheimer’s disease biomarkers and its decline is significant among Alzheimer’s patients.

The researchers recruited 81 participants, with an average age of about 62. About 70% of them had a family history of Alzheimer’s disease. All study participants participated in language memory evaluations and polysomnography, a diagnostic tool for sleep disorders.

The study found that people who had their sleep disrupted by sleep apnea during the REM sleep stage were negatively affected in their language memory. The trend was particularly pronounced among participants with a genetic predisposition or family history of Alzheimer’s disease.

The researchers concluded that the severity of sleep apnea during the REM sleep stage decides the degree of negative impact on language memory.

Daniel Kim
content@viewusglobal.com

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