February 3, 2012
Sleep Apnea Ups Risk of Silent Strokes and Brain Lesions
(Ivanhoe Newswire) — Here´s an eye-opener for those suffering from severe sleep apnea. It may increase your risk of silent strokes and lesions in the brain.
People with sleep apnea often experience a lack of oxygen reaching the brain, as well as, other parts of the body. Stokes occurs when blood–supplied by oxygen–doesn´t flow properly to the brain. “We found a surprisingly high frequency of sleep apnea in patients with stroke that underlines its clinical relevance as a stroke risk factor," said Jessica Kepplinger, M.D., the study's lead researcher and stroke fellow in the Dresden University Stroke Center's Department of Neurology at the University of Technology in Dresden, Germany.
Researchers suggested that sleep apnea should be treated the same as other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure. Kepplinger and her team plan to do more studies on sleep apnea, particularly in high-risk patients with silent strokes and white matter lesions, to determine the impact of non-invasive ventilation and on short-term clinical outcome.
SOURCE: American Heart Association, February, 2012