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While you were sleeping
Date:6/3/2009

time increments of obstructive sleep apnoea caused levels of the high-energy currency adenosine triphosphates (ATP) to fall and levels of inorganic phosphate to rise, without the usual changes in phosphocreatine or brain pH the mechanisms that normally would protect the brain against oxygene depletion," Professor Rae explained.

"This is happening in someone with sleep apnoea acutely and continually when they are asleep. It's a completely different biochemical mechanism from anything we've seen before and is similar to what you see in somebody who has had a very severe stroke or is dying."

The findings suggested societal perceptions of snoring needed to change, Professor Rae said.

"People look at people snoring and think it's funny. That has to stop."

Professor Rae said it was still unclear why the body responded to oxygen depletion in this way. It could be a form of ischemic preconditioning at work, much like in heart attack sufferers whose initial attack makes them more protected from subsequent attacks.

"The brain could be basically resetting its bioenergetics to make itself more resistant to lack of oxygen," Professor Rae said. "It may be a compensatory mechanism to keep you alive, we just don't know, but even if it is it's not likely to be doing you much good."


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Contact: Steve Offner
s.offner@unsw.edu.au
61-293-858-107
University of New South Wales
Source:Eurekalert

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