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Damage from Untreated OSA Seen After 1 Month

A landmark study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that middle-age and older men with even mild obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) were in danger of increased risk of stroke and death. In an effort to shed light on the relationship between OSA's effect on the cerebral (brain) vessels, researchers at Baylor have developed a new model that mimics OSA in humans. The model has found that after just 30 days of OSA exposure, cerebral vessel function is impaired, which could lead to stroke.

  

The researchers induced 30 apneas (10 seconds duration) per hour in animals for 8-hours during the sleep cycle for up to one month. After one month of apnea, cerebral vessel dilatory function was reduced by up to 22 percent. This finding correlates with studies that show similar cell dysfunction in arteries and an increased risk of stroke in OSA patients. Damage to the vascular wall in brain arteries could be a factor predisposing an individual with OSA to stroke. An abstract of the study entitled, "Cerebrovascular Consequences of Obstructive Sleep Apnea," will be discussed at the meeting Experimental Biology 2012 being held April 21-25 at the San Diego Convention Center.

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Any chance that the vascular walls improve after CPAP begins or is the damage we have all suffered already irreversible?

     This is anecdotal BUT, fwiw, because I was undiagnosed for so many decades (never mind all the doctors I visited re: my sleep problems -- including a sleep disorder CLINIC, for gawd's sake) because of this, I've taken to asking people I meet at support group meetings how they learned that they had sleep apnea.

     I was impressed by one woman whose cardiologist suspected the cause of some of her problems was OSA. He arranged for a sleep study and, voila, that explained the symptoms.

     Fast forward: the woman further told me that she would have been pleased if her symptoms simply did not worsen. Instead, she was getting a better payoff: symptom reversal. Actual slooooow symptom reversal.

     Again, the above is strictly anecdotal so take it for what it's worth.

     And by the way, I was diagnosed by a friend with whom I shared a hotel room one night in May, 2011. She knew about sleep complaints including my "treatment" (for insomnia!!!) at a sleep disorder clinic. (The doctors never ordered an overnight.)

      I may owe Myra my life; I know I owe her for the substantial improvement in my daily life. Indeed, two men in just the past 19 hours mentioned that I look better (according to one) and that I seem to be more lively now (according to the other).

      It's not clear sailing, of course. Adjusting to everything is a challenge. That's why I always say....thank God for Sleep Guide!!!

Ellen said:

Any chance that the vascular walls improve after CPAP begins or is the damage we have all suffered already irreversible?

With PAP therapy 95% of patients see a 90-95% reduction in their apnea hypopnea index.

Damage to vascular walls would likely stop if not improve after PAP therapy.

ZolliStar said:

     This is anecdotal BUT, fwiw, because I was undiagnosed for so many decades (never mind all the doctors I visited re: my sleep problems -- including a sleep disorder CLINIC, for gawd's sake) because of this, I've taken to asking people I meet at support group meetings how they learned that they had sleep apnea.

     I was impressed by one woman whose cardiologist suspected the cause of some of her problems was OSA. He arranged for a sleep study and, voila, that explained the symptoms.

     Fast forward: the woman further told me that she would have been pleased if her symptoms simply did not worsen. Instead, she was getting a better payoff: symptom reversal. Actual slooooow symptom reversal.

     Again, the above is strictly anecdotal so take it for what it's worth.

     And by the way, I was diagnosed by a friend with whom I shared a hotel room one night in May, 2011. She knew about sleep complaints including my "treatment" (for insomnia!!!) at a sleep disorder clinic. (The doctors never ordered an overnight.)

      I may owe Myra my life; I know I owe her for the substantial improvement in my daily life. Indeed, two men in just the past 19 hours mentioned that I look better (according to one) and that I seem to be more lively now (according to the other).

      It's not clear sailing, of course. Adjusting to everything is a challenge. That's why I always say....thank God for Sleep Guide!!!

Ellen said:

Any chance that the vascular walls improve after CPAP begins or is the damage we have all suffered already irreversible?
Bump

" White  leasions" dr Jones mentions in his posts too point to brain damage.

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