At the end of brain awareness week I thought I might enlighten people on one of the many risks in not treating obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA). OSA is a condition where the upper airway restricts breathing while asleep, causing disturbed sleep and serious physical issues. Research by Motamedi et al. 2017 in the Journal of Sleep Medicine, has supported what I have been concerned about for many years now. That untreated moderate to severe OSA may contribute to neurodegenerative disease.

I often reinforce how sleep allows the brain to be flushed and drained of it’s toxins, including B Amaloid and Tau protein. Both of these toxins are involved in brain issues such as plaques and  the tangles of neurons. The researchers found that compared to people without OSA, those with moderate to severe OSA had elevated Tau proteins, indicating a high risk factor for neurodegenerative disease if the OSA is left untreated.

They also found that Interleukin 6 (IL-6) was elevated in people with severe OSA.   IL-6 stimulates the inflammatory response  and auto-immune process in diseases such as diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, systemic lupus, rheumatoid arthritis and many more. It will also cause increased body temperature which  may worsen the    effects of menopause (Wikipedia).

At the end of brain awareness week it is important for us to identify and treat OSA as soon as possible to live healthier.