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Sleep Apnea Linked to Silent Strokes

Posted Mar 04 2012 10:12pm
Posted on 2012-03-01 06:00:00 in Sleep | Stroke |

Placing the person at extreme fatigue, sleep apnea is a sleep disorder characterized by loud, frequent, irregular sounding snoring, pauses in snoring that sound as if breathing has stopped, and waking from sleep with a gasping or choking sensation.  Jessica Kepplinger, the University of Technology (Dresden, Germany), and colleagues studied 56 men and women, average 67 years, who underwent overnight in-hospital testing for sleep apnea.  Magnetic resonance imaging and computerized tomography determined silent strokes and white matter lesions, and neuroradiologists were blinded to the sleep study findings and outcome. The researchers found that 91% of the subjects who had a stroke had sleep apnea, and were more likely to have silent strokes and white matter lesions that increased risk of disability at hospital discharge. More than one-third of patients with white matter lesions had severe sleep apnea and more than 50% of silent stroke patients had sleep apnea.  The team also determined that having more than five sleep apnea episodes per night was associated with silent strokes.

Jessica Kepplinger, Kristian Barlinn, Amelia K Boehme, Lars-Peder Pallesen, Wiebke Schrempf, Karen C Albright, et al.  “Does Newly Diagnosed Sleep Apnea Favour Sleep-Related Ischemic Stroke?” [Abstract #3085]. Presented at International Stroke Conference (American Stroke Association), February 1, 2012.

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