A new study led by Dr Andrew Varga (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, USA) showed that mild obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) in cognitively normal older adults is associated with significantly atypical morning spatial navigation performance—an early symptom of Alzheimer disease .
Sleep is thought to be critical for processing spatial memories, and spatial disorientation is one of the earliest hallmarks of cognitive dysfunction in Alzheimer disease. The investigators in this study wondered whether sleep disruption from OSA would negatively impact the processing of spatial navigational information in older asymptomatic individuals.
To this end, Dr Varga and colleagues recruited 42 cognitively normal older individuals (aged 66.5 ± 8 years) and had them explore a 3D computer generated spatial maze for 5 minutes, in addition to 3 timed trials (capped at 10 minutes each) to reach a target in the maze before and after polysomnographically recorded ...
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