If your partner has begun to snore loud at night, this may be a sign of advancing dementia. Such a frightening conclusion was made by the scientists from New York University.
Loud snoring at night is the reason for jokes or for sleeping in different rooms, but no one perceives it as something much more serious. However, US researchers believe that this phenomenon may indicate impending dementia. The researchers found that the people having severe breathing problems during sleep are more often faced with early memory loss and other brain functions.
In their study, the researchers found that the victims of sleep apnea (a disorder most often caused by heavy snoring) are faced with a decrease in mental activity more than 10 years earlier than those who do not have sleep problems. The researchers also suggest that victims of sleep apnea develop Alzheimer’s disease much faster.
Millions of people worldwide suffer from sleep apnea, which occurs most often in middle-aged men who have excess weight. The disorder is caused by contraction of the muscles of air passages, which interferes with the air flow and leads to severe snoring and frequent brief awakenings.
According to the study author Dr. Ricardo Osorio, the abnormal breathing during sleep, which includes loud snoring, is fairly common in the elderly age. The scientists have found that people with such problems are faced with mild cognitive impairment at the age of 77 on average. Those who do not have breathing problems demonstrate this kind of reduced mental activity at the age of 90, i.e. more than 10 years later. The victims of Alzheimer’s disease have their first symptoms 5 years earlier if they snore heavily at night. On average, this is the age of 83 years in comparison with 88 years in those who do not snore.