Severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea Is Associated with Higher Brain Amyloid Burden: A Preliminary PET Imaging Study

Melinda L. Jackson, Marina Cavuoto, Rachel Schembri, Vincent Dore, Victor L. Villemagne, Maree Barnes, Fergal J. O'Donoghue, Christopher C. Rowe, Stephen R. Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been linked to an increase risk of dementia. Few studies have cross-sectionally examined whether clinically-confirmed OSA is associated with a higher brain amyloid burden. Objective: The aim of this study was to compare brain amyloid burden in individuals with untreated OSA and healthy controls, and explore associations between amyloid burden and polysomnographic and subjective measures of sleep, demographics, and mood. Methods: Thirty-four individuals with OSA (mean age 57.5±4.1 y; 19 males) and 12 controls (mean age 58.5±4.2 y; 6 males) underwent a clinical polysomnogram and a 11C-PiB positron emission tomography (PET) scan to quantify amyloid burden. Results: Amyloid burden was elevated in the OSA group relative to controls, and was significantly higher in those with severe OSA relative to mild/moderate OSA. Correlation analyses indicated that higher amyloid burden was associated with a higher Non-REM apnea hypopnea index, poorer sleep efficiency, and less time spent in stage N3 sleep, when controlling for age. Conclusion: Severe OSA is associated with a modest elevation of brain amyloid, the significance of which should be further investigated to explore the implications for dementia risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)611-617
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Alzheimer's Disease
Volume78
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Nov 2020

Keywords

  • Hypoxia
  • neurodegeneration
  • neuroimaging
  • polysomnography
  • sleep

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