Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Sleep Apnea

y sleep apnea is something I haven’t written much about. I suppose in the over all picture it seems pretty minor. That is having sleep problems.

Sleep apnea is potentially  much more than just a sleep problem. I found this article from the Washington Post.


WEDNESDAY, June 11 (HealthDay News) — People with sleep apnea show tissue loss in brain regions that help store memory, a University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) study shows.

“Our findings demonstrate that impaired breathing during sleep can lead to serious brain injury that disrupts memory and thinking,” principal investigator Ronald Harper, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, said in a prepared statement.

People with sleep apnea stop breathing and awaken repeatedly during the night, leading to chronic daytime fatigue and memory and concentration problems. Research has linked sleep apnea to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease and diabetes.

In this study, the UCLA team used MRI to scan the brains of sleep apnea patients. The researchers focused on brain structures called mammillary bodies, located on the underside of the brain.

The study found that the mammillary bodies of the 43 sleep apnea patients were almost 20 percent smaller than those in 66 people without sleep apnea. The results will be published in the June 27 issue ofNeuroscience Letters.

Repeated drops in oxygen experienced by sleep apnea patients may lead to brain injury, Harper suggested. He noted that lack of oxygen during an apnea episode can cause brain cell death.

“The reduced size of the mammillary bodies suggests that they’ve suffered a harmful event resulting in sizable cell loss. The fact that patients’ memory problems continue despite treatment for their sleep disorder implies a long-lasting brain injury,” Harper said.

“The findings are important, because patients suffering from memory loss from other syndromes, such as alcoholism or Alzheimer’s disease, also show shrunken mammillary bodies,” lead author Rajesh Kumar, an assistant researcher in neurobiology, said in a prepared statement.

A second interesting article. This one from Daily Science site

In obstructive sleep apnea, the upper airway narrows, or collapses, during sleep. Periods of apnea end with a brief partial arousal that may disrupt sleep hundreds of times a night. Obesity is a major risk factor for sleep apnea.

The most effective treatment for sleep apnea is a technique called nasal CPAP, for continuous positive airway pressure, which delivers air through a mask while the patient sleeps, keeping the airway open. It has proved successful in many cases in providing a good night’s sleep, preventing daytime accidents due to sleepiness and improving quality of life.

The study included 1,123 patients referred for sleep apnea evaluation. They underwent an overnight sleep study to determine if they had sleep apnea. Over the next four to five years, they were followed to see how many had any heart disease events (heart attack, coronary angiography or bypass surgery) or died.

Sleep apnea triggers the body’s “fight or flight” mechanism, which decreases the amount of blood pumped to the heart. Repeated episodes every night for a few years can starve the heart of enough oxygen when it is combined with the body’s decreased oxygen intake due to the frequent breathing stoppages during the night, Dr. Shah says.

This research was presented at the American Thoracic Society 2007 International Conference, on Monday, May 21.”Obstructive Sleep Apnea is Associated with an Increased Risk of Coronary Artery Disease and Death” (Session B12; Abstract # 1090)

Hey, look at me I actually did some research and am not just writing things “According to Bill”.

I am getting tired, this whole doing research thing is enough to wear you our. I was going to write about how this is all affecting me. I am like the poster boy for sleep apnea with the memory loss, confusion and inablility to consentrate. I have come to realize, having a dopey head thing going on actually isn’t always a bad thing.lol. No room in your head for any sort of worry


9 Responses to Dying Man’s Daily Journal – Sleep Apnea

  1. Mel says:

    Yeah, not fun stuff.
    That sense of always being tired cannot be much fun.

    ((((((((( Bill )))))))))

  2. Amy Klinka says:

    Hello Bill,
    Haven’t been here for awhile.
    Want to wish you well, and please know I think of you.
    Seems so much time has gone by since I last was on, but it also has gone fast like a blink of an eye.
    Take Care.

  3. Sarah Jordan says:

    My son has sleep apnea (because he let himself get too overweight). His doctor sent him to a sleep center where he had to spend the night while being monitored. Turns out he stopped breathing 97 times, which qualified him for the sleep apparatus. It’s basically a mask with a tube that runs to a computer that dictates how often air is forced into his lungs based on the outcome of his testing. He said it took him about 2 weeks to get used to it but, after that, his sleep improved 1000% and he stopped waking up tired all the time.
    So, if you need it and haven’t tried it, I suggest you call your doctor and talk to him about it. It works for my son.

  4. As Sarah suggested you should check into a CPAP machine. That is the apparatus that she is referring to. It helped my husband a great deal. Best of luck to you!

  5. Sarah Jordan says:

    I always feel death out there in the tall grass, quiet, waiting, stalking slowly, its eyes never leaving me, never leaving its prey.
    I never see death, of course, never see it at all unless you count the rustling in the tall grass or the poison dripping from the chemotherapy bag or the yellow color crawling across my skin as seeing death.
    I never see death or hear it or feel its touch, but I know its there, and that is enough to bring my head up to send my eyes across the tall grass in search of it. I know it waits…we both wait…and one day the grass will wave furiously under death’s last, accelerating, thundering race as I lay listening to its great,approaching, pounding footfalls and dare to look at what I never have seen but have known was there by that rustling in the far tall grass.

  6. Sarah Jordan says:

    Oh, Bill, please don’t change the title of your blog…Dying Man are the words that bring the heartsick and dying to the blog…without those words they wouldn’t find you…us…and so they’d be alone still, Besides, you aren’t confronting anything that applies only to you. We’re all dying, some of us just faster than others. Please don’t change your blog title…it’s a sign out there in cyberspace guiding the sick and terrified and alone toward the only comfort they might be able to find. Please think about it, Bill.
    God’s peace,

  7. I am a frequent reader of your blog posts. I liked the recent one and other posts on your blog so much that I have subscribed to the blog’s RSS feed in Thunderbird. Even thinking of stealing some ideas and put them to work. Keep all the good work going by posting more informative posts. Thank you. Time well spent on this post.

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