In the United States, up to 18 million people have sleep apnea, and 10 million people may also have the condition but have not received a diagnosis, according to
With central sleep apnea, patients have the cessation of the breathing due to problems with the brain sending signals to specific muscles.
The most common type of sleep apnea is obstructive sleep apnea, in which the breathing problems during sleep result from the airway becoming blocked or narrowed. Patients can have a cessation of breathing from 10 seconds or more. Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include headaches that are difficult to treat, forgetfulness, grumpiness, sleepiness or falling asleep during an activity. Obstructive sleep apnea patients may also have depression and leg swelling, and children with the condition can also display hyperactive behavior, according to
In a new study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, researchers found that patients with obstructive sleep apnea had changes in the gray matter in the brain.