Silent stroke and sleep apnea possibly related
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Silent stroke and sleep apnea possibly related

Dresden : Germany | Feb 02, 2012 at 7:47 AM PST
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Researchers find those who had a stroke also had sleep apnea

It is is still unclear if the association between sleep apnea and stroke is a casual one. Researchers from Dresden University Stroke Center's Department of Neurology at the University of Technology in Dresden, Germany, had found 91% of patients who had suffered a stroke also had sleep apnea and had a higher risk for silent strokes.

The study consisted of 56 stroke patients who had an ischemic stroke or transient ischemic attack ( TIA) at 86% of patients. The average age of patients was 67 years, 46% men and the average stroke scale score was one with median body mass being 27.

Patients had underwent hospital testing for sleep apnea. Researchers used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography to determine strokes and white matter lesions.

The findings of the study had included:

More than five episodes of sleep apnea a night was linked with silent stroke.

Over one-third of patients with white matter lesions had sleep apnea.

Over fifty percent of patients who had a silent stroke had sleep apnea.

Fifty-one out of fifty-six or 91% of patients who had a stroke had sleep apnea and had a greater chance to have a silent stroke and white matter lesions which increased the risk of disability when it came to leaving the hospital.

Even though men were more likely to have silent infarcts the relationship between sleep apnea and silent infarcts had stayed the same even after adjusting for such gender difference.

Dr. Jessica Keeplinger M.D, stroke fellow at the center and lead author of study stated that researchers had found a surprisingly high frequency of sleep apnea in patients with strokes that highlights clinical relevance as a stroke factor.

"Sleep apnea is widely unrecognized and still neglected. Patients who had severe sleep apnea were more likely to have silent strokes and the severity of sleep apnea increased the risk of being disabled at hospital discharge," according to Dr. Keeplinger.

Researchers suggest that sleep apnea should be treated in the same way as other vascular risk factors such as high blood pressure.

Researchers are planning to do more studies on sleep apnea especially in high risk patients with silent strokes and white matter lesions in order to determine the impact on non-invasive ventilation and on short-term clinical outcome as noted by the research team.

This study was presented at the American Stroke Association International Stroke Conference, 2012.

These results have not undergone the “peer review process” and therefore, should be considered preliminary.

Over 12 million Americans endure sleep apnea.

Sleep apnea also raises the risk for ,metabolic syndrome, a group of risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

A study appearing mid-December last year from the All India Institute of Medical Sciences that after three months of treatment with a apnea mask (CPAP) can remarkably lower blood pressure, risk the risk and treat the signs that lead to metabolic syndrome. Some patients find the masks uncomfortable and choose not to use them. Leaving them to seek alternative options.

Two options for apnea:

Some patients with sleep apnea have tried acupuncture. The acupuncture treatments will slowly improve your sleep by correcting the imbalances which are causing the sleep apnea. Acupuncture has been noted to be safe and effective treatment for sleep apnea and metabolic treatment.

Chiropractic spinal manipulations could improve muscle functioning in the chest walls leading to the ability to breathe more easily, increases oxygenation in the blood, improves restlessness and improves the reflexes of the spinal cord that controls blood flow. Chiropractors also treat metabolic syndrome and regular visits are known to be effective to reverse insulin resistance and provides you with improved health and immune system.

Debbie Nicholson is based in Detroit, Michigan, United States of America, and is an Anchor on Allvoices.
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