A recent systematic review investigated the potential connection between sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive decline and dementia in the elderly, reports Medical News Bulletin.

Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) such as sleep apnea (a common disorder where you intermittently stop breathing for many seconds to minutes) and snoring, has been increasingly linked to health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. While sleep-disordered breathing is widespread, it is also a treatable condition in ageing adults. This may come as a relief to many, as more recent research has drawn a connection between sleep-disordered breathing and cognitive decline.

Though numerous population-based studies have been conducted to further explore this potential link, results have been conflicting, possibly due to the diversity of study designs and methods used to assess sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). Furthermore, many studies measure and report cognitive results differently. Without consistency, it is difficult to come to a concrete conclusion. Luckily, an American research group set out to look at all of these studies together and use statistics to find out more about the link between SDB and cognitive impairment.