Sleep Apnea During REM Has a Relation to Memory Loss.

Summary: Sleep apnea activities during REM sleep are linked to rhetorical memory deficits in older people at risk for Alzheimer’s disease. For correct diagnosis and treatment, the study emphasizes the value of focusing on sleep-stage-specific disruption severity.

Women were found to have more Dream- associated apnea events, possible increasing their Alzheimer’s risk. The research emphasizes the need for customized cognitive decline assessments.

Important Facts:

    Higher paralysis situations occur when you sleep at night, and they are related to poor linguistic memory.

  1. Sexual Variations: Ladies experience more Sleep sleep apnea, possibly raising Alzheimer’s threat.
  2. Personalized Treatment: Focusing on REM- certain disruption activities is important for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Origin: UC Irvine

A study led by the University of California, Irvine has found a link between the speed of sleep apnea episodes during the rapid-eye motion stage and the intensity of linguistic memory loss in older adults who are at risk of Alzheimer’s disease. &nbsp,

Verbal memory is a mental capacity that is especially susceptible to Alzheimer’s and helps people retain and recall data presented through written or spoken words.

The study, just published online in the journal&nbsp, Alzheimer’s Research &amp, Therapy, discovered a distinct relationship between the intensity of sleep apnea – when breathing stops while an individual is sleeping – and diminished thinking. Lower memory performance was related to higher numbers during REM levels compared to REM stages.

Findings demonstrated that apnea occurrences during REM are a significant contributor to verbal memory loss, particularly in those who have an Alzheimer’s genetic predisposition and who have a history of the disease as a parent. Credit: Neuroscience News

Our findings revealed the specific characteristics of sleep apnea that are related to memory. This is important because, physiologically, events that occur during REM sleep are frequently overlooked or minimized, according to co-author Bryce Mander, associate professor of psychiatry and human behavior at UC Irvine.

The average disruption severity can be much lower than what is usually observed during REM sleep because the majority of sleep hours are non-REM. Because current evaluation criteria do n’t focus on sleep-stage specific apnea severity, this means that someone who is at risk can be misdiagnosed and treated incorrectly.

Additionally, according to co-author Ruth Benca, professor and chair of psychiatry and behavioural healthcare at Wake Forest University School of Medicine,” we found that women are more likely to have a higher percentage of their apneic events in REM sleep than men, which may be making their risk for Alzheimer’s disease higher.”

The research involved 81 thick- aged and older people from the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center with lessened risk aspects, of whom 62 percent were female. Participants received polysomnography – a thorough evaluation that records brain waves, eye movements, muscle activity, blood oxygen levels, brain rate and breathing during sleep – and verbal storage assessments.

Findings demonstrated that apnea events during REM are a significant contributor to verbal memory loss, particularly in those who have an Alzheimer’s genetic predisposition and who have a history of the disease as a parent.

” Our findings highlight the intricate relationship among sleep apnea, memory function and Alzheimer’s risk”, Mander said. For developing proactive, personalized approaches to assessment and treatment that are tailored to individual sleep patterns, it is crucial to identify and address REM-specific events.

The team also included lead author Kitty K. Lui, a graduate student in the San Diego State University/ University of California, San Diego joint doctoral program in clinical psychology, and faculty and graduate students from UC Irvine, UC San Diego, the Wisconsin Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center and the University of Kentucky.

Funding: This work was supported by the National Institute on Aging under grants R56 AG052698, R01 AG027161, R01 AG021155, ADRC P50 AG033514, R01 AG037639 and K01 AG068353, by the National Institutes of Health’s Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award F31 AG048732, and by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences ‘ Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program under grant UL1TR000427.

About this news about memory and sleep apnea

Author: Patricia Harriman
Source: UC Irvine
Contact: Patricia Harriman – UC Irvine
Image: The image is credited to Neuroscience News

Original Research: Open access.
According to Bryce Mander and colleagues,” Older adults at greater risk for Alzheimer’s disease show stronger associations between verbal memory and sleep apnea severity in REM sleep.” Alzheimer’s Research and Therapy


Alzheimer’s disease is more prevalent in older adults, who are more at risk for REM sleep, and verbal memory.


Obstructive sleep apnea ( OSA ) increases risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer’s disease ( AD ). While the mechanisms that underlie this are still unsure, hypoxemia during OSA has been linked to cognitive decline. Although the relative impact of oxyhemoglobin desaturation during REM sleep versus NREM sleep is not completely understood, OSA is more severe during rapid eye movement ( REM) sleep than it is during non-retroactive ( NREM) sleep. In a sample of middle-aged and older adults with heightened AD risk, we examined the effects of OSA and the moderating effects of AD risk factors on verbal memory.


Eighty- one adults ( mean age: 61.7 ± 6.0&nbsp, years, 62 % females, 32 % &nbsp, apolipoprotein E ε4 allele ( APOE4 ) &nbsp, carriers, and 70 % with parental history of AD ) underwent clinical polysomnography including assessment of OSA. OSA features were derived in total, NREM, and REM sleep. REM- NREM ratios of OSA features were also calculated. The Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT) was used to evaluate verbal memory. Multiple regression models evaluated the relationships between OSA features and RAVLT scores while adjusting for sex, age, time between assessments, education years, body mass index ( BMI ), and&nbsp, APOE4&nbsp, status or parental history of AD. The significant main effects of OSA features on RAVLT performance and the moderating effects of AD risk factors ( i. e., sex, age, &nbsp, APOE4&nbsp, status, and parental history of AD ) were examined.


RAVLT total learning and long-delay recall were negatively correlated with the apnea–hypopnea index ( AHI), respiratory disturbance index ( RDI), and oxyhemoglobin desaturation index ( ODI) during REM sleep. Further, greater REM- NREM ratios of AHI, RDI, and ODI ( i. e., more events in REM than NREM) were related to worse total learning and recall. We specifically discovered that adults over the age of 60 had a negative influence on REM ODI and total learning. In addition, the negative relationships between REM- NREM ODI ratio and total learning, &nbsp, and REM- NREM RDI ratio and long- delay recall were driven by&nbsp, APOE4&nbsp, carriers.


Greater OSA severity, particularly during REM sleep, negatively affects verbal memory, especially for people with greater AD risk. Even if the overall AHI is low, these findings highlight the potential value of proactive screening and treatment for REM OSA.