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Title: Alzheimer's disease neuropathology in the hippocampus and brainstem of people with obstructive sleep apnea.
Austin Authors: Owen, Jessica E;Benediktsdottir, Bryndis;Cook, Elizabeth;Olafsson, Isleifur;Gislason, Thorarinn;Robinson, Stephen R
Affiliation: School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University, Bundoora, Victoria, Australia
Institute for Breathing and Sleep
Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland
Department of Sleep Medicine, Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland..
Department of Clinical Biochemistry, Landspitali - The National University Hospital of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland..
Issue Date: 12-Mar-2021
Date: 2020-09-21
Publication information: Sleep 2021; 44(3): zsaa195
Abstract: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) involves intermittent cessations of breathing during sleep. People with OSA can experience memory deficits and have reduced hippocampal volume; these features are also characteristic of Alzheimer's disease (AD), where they are accompanied by neurofibrillary tangles (NFTs) and amyloid beta (Aβ) plaques in the hippocampus and brainstem. We have recently shown reduced hippocampal volume to be related to OSA severity, and although OSA may be a risk factor for AD, the hippocampus and brainstems of clinically-verified OSA cases have not yet been examined for NFTs and Aβ plaques. The present study used quantitative immunohistochemistry to investigate post-mortem hippocampi of 34 people with OSA (18 females, 16 males; mean age 67 years) and brainstems of 24 people with OSA for the presence of NFTs and Aβ plaques. OSA severity was a significant predictor of Aβ plaque burden in the hippocampus after controlling for age, sex, BMI and CPAP use. OSA severity also predicted NFT burden in the hippocampus, but not after controlling for age. Although 71% of brainstems contained NFTs and 21% contained Aβ plaques, their burdens were not correlated with OSA severity. These results indicate that OSA accounts for some of the 'cognitively normal' individuals who have been found to have substantial Aβ burdens, and are currently considered to be at a prodromal stage of AD.
DOI: 10.1093/sleep/zsaa195
Journal: Sleep
PubMed URL: 32954401
Type: Journal Article
Subjects: Alzheimer's disease
amyloid beta
continuous positive airway pressure
neurofibrillary tangles
Appears in Collections:Journal articles

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