Snoring Could Be Harming Your Brain Health

Those who snore can be aging their brains by years and hurting their brain health by depriving themselves of getting deep sleep, according to researchers with the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Paris-Cité, Paris, France.

What to Know:

  • Loud snoring and obstructed breathing, often caused by sleep apnea, can lead to higher chances of exhibiting signs of stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, or overall cognitive decline.

  • Tiny lesions on the brain, known as white matter hyperintensities, are biomarkers that indicate brain health, becoming more prevalent with age or uncontrolled high blood pressure.

  • Participants with severe sleep apnea had more white matter hyperintensities than those with mild or moderate conditions and demonstrated a decrease in the integrity of the axons of the brain that connect nerve cells.

  • Deep sleep is one of the best indicators of sleep quality and the study found that for every 10% decrease in deep sleep, the white matter hyperintensities increased, equivalent to the brain aging 2.3 years.

  • The same 10% reduction of deep sleep was also associated with reducing the integrity of axons, and that decrease was similar to the effect of the brain appearing 3 years older.

This is a summary of the article “Association of Polysomnographic Sleep Parameters With Neuroimaging Biomarkers of Cerebrovascular Disease in Older Adults With Sleep Apnea” in the Neurology on May 10, 2023. The full article can be found on

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