Sleep Apnea’s Effects on Brain Function | Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie MD


Experiencing sleep apnea can lead to structural changes in your brain that significantly affect memory, emotional regulation, and cognitive function due to oxygen deprivation during sleep interruptions. While the physical health effects of sleep apnea, such as high blood pressure, diabetes, and heart disease, are well-documented, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) can take a toll on your brain in various ways.

Understanding Sleep Apnea Treatment in Glen Burnie MD

Sleep Apnea and Brain Changes
In individuals with sleep apnea, frequent breathing struggles or temporary cessation during sleep often manifest as loud snoring or gasping. This intermittent oxygen deprivation can result in physical damage that alters normal brain function. One significant impact occurs in the mammillary bodies, responsible for memory storage. Studies, including research from UCLA, show that sleep apnea sufferers have nearly 20 percent smaller mammillary bodies than well-rested individuals. Other studies reveal reductions in gray and white matter, contributing to memory deficits and cognitive impairment.

Neurotransmitters and OSA
Crucial neurotransmitters, glutamate, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA), play pivotal roles in brain function. Research from UCLA School of Nursing found significant differences in these neurotransmitter levels in sleep apnea patients. Elevated glutamate levels, in particular, can harm the brain, though these effects can be reversible.

Promising Treatments for Sleep Apnea
Studies by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine on CPAP therapy, a common treatment for sleep apnea, showed significant improvements in brain white matter within a year, with gray matter showing progress within three months. While CPAP may not suit everyone, alternative treatments like oral appliances effectively open airways, improving oxygen supply.

Seeking Help for Sleep Apnea Symptoms
If you or a loved one experiences sleep apnea-related brain function symptoms, it’s wise to consult a healthcare provider or dentist. Together, you can explore solutions to restore cognitive well-being, alleviate emotional distress, and promote brain health, ultimately improving your quality of life.

Understanding and treating sleep apnea is crucial for overall health and well-being. If you or someone you know is struggling with sleep apnea symptoms, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact Chesapeake Sleep Center in Glen Burnie MD for expert guidance and personalized treatment options. Regain restful sleep and a healthier brain with our specialized care.

Chesapeake Sleep Center
Phone: 410-729-6794
7711 Quarterfield Road, Suite C-1
Glen Burnie, MD 21061