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Obstructive sleep apnea's damage evident after 1 month
Date:4/23/2012

ne month. After one month of apnea, cerebral vessel dilatory function was reduced by up to 22 percent. This finding correlates with studies that show similar cell dysfunction in arteries and an increased risk of stroke in OSA patients. Damage to the vascular wall in brain arteries could be a factor predisposing an individual with OSA to stroke.

"There are two important findings in these results," according to researcher Randy Crossland. "The first is the model itself. The new model allows us to study the complete disease and better understand how repetitive exposure to apnea affects the body. The second is that only one month of moderate OSA produces altered cerebrovascular function which could result in a stroke. A finding that highlights the detrimental impact OSA can have on the body."

OSA Prevalence Expected to Rise

According to Mr. Crossland, some researchers estimate that up to 85 percent of patients with clinically significant sleep apnea have not been diagnosed. Obesity and aging are strongly associated with OSA. "As the prevalence of obesity is rising, and the population continues aging, we expect the rates of OSA to rise. It should also be noted that non-obese individuals and even children can have OSA," he said. And while OSA is seen more often in men than in women for unknown reasons some researchers believe that the true rate in females has been underestimated.

The common signs and symptoms of OSA include: habitual snoring, daytime sleepiness, enlarged neck size, morning headache, sexual dysfunction, and mood and behavioral changes. "OSA can have a detrimental impact on a person's body and their life. It is a serious, yet treatable, disorder that should not be taken lightly," according to Mr. Crossland.


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Contact: Donna Krupa
media@faseb.org
619-525-6213
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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