Physiological Differences in Brains of Sleep Apnea Patients between Gender

Posted on March 15, 2018

In a recent study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Nursing, who observed the MRI brain scans and clinical records of patients recently diagnosed with sleep apnea, a correlation between the thinning of the brain's cerebral cortex and the symptoms of sleep apnea was found. Significant differences were also found between the brain structures of apnea patients in both men and women.

Overall, more portions of the superior frontal lobe were thinned in women compared to men. This could explain why more women than men with sleep apnea face more cognitive deficits, since the frontal lobe manages many of our brain's important cognitive processes (language, emotional expression/affect etc).

Thinning of the cerebral cortex could also lead to poorer control over autonomous functions, which would lead to the respiratory pathway obstruction typically seen in sleep apnea cases.

While past studies have identified brain structures and areas associated with sleep apnea, this is the first study linking differing brain structures in genders and symptoms of sleep apnea.


Category(s):Sleep Disorders

Source material from PsychCentral


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