“CPAP treatment of sleep apnea may delay progression of cognitive impairment,” said Ricardo Osorio, MD,  an expert on the correlation between sleep apnea and various forms of dementia, during the August edition of “CPAP Chat,” a virtual support group hosted by DME National Sleep Therapy for people with sleep apnea and for healthcare professionals.

He added, “The presence of sleep disordered breathing is associated with an earlier age of cognitive decline.” These are among conclusions in a study coauthored by Osorio that appeared in the journal Neurology. Osorio told participants, “Because people are living longer due to healthier habits, Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia are occurring at a later age. Also because people are living longer, the total number of people with Alzheimer’s is expected to rise dramatically.”

During “CPAP Chat,” Osorio, a researcher and faculty member at the New York University (NYU) Medical School’s Center for Brain Health, described one experiment in which mice who were deliberately sleep deprived lost much of their memory, but when they started to get adequate sleep, their memories improved. He said that 70% of the people in his sleep study at NYU—ages 60 to 85—had some degree of sleep apnea, with 20% severe cases.

Each month “CPAP Chat” features guests with unique personal stories, motivational tips, or sleep-related research. Held on the first Wednesday of each month from 7 – 8 pm (ET), sessions are free and open to all. To join the chat: Just prior to next session, call 1-800-204-6655 and enter access code 342-2187#.