Sleep-disordered breathing advances cognitive decline in the elderly.


Objective: To examine whether the presence of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is associated with an earlier age at mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or Alzheimer disease (AD)-dementia onset in participants from the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI) cohort. We also examined whether continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) use is associated with delayed onset of cognitive decline.

Methods: From the ADNI cohort, 3 subsets with progressively stringent criteria were created in a step-wise manner. Age at MCI or AD-dementia onset was the main outcome variable. Analyses were performed separately for each subset in untreated SDB+ vs SDB− and untreated SDB+ vs CPAP+ groups.

Conclusions: Consistent with our hypothesis, the presence of SDB was associated with an earlier age at cognitive decline. Our findings in CPAP+ participants suggest that CPAP treatment of SDB may delay progression of cognitive impairment.

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