Sleep Apnea and Silent Strokes

Jul 23, 2013

At the American Stroke Association’s International Stroke Conference, a study was announced that linked Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) to a high chance of experiencing a silent stroke. A silent stroke is a minor version of a regular stroke, but the patient may not realize that the episode occurred and undergo any immediate neurological deficiency, and the brain area is still scarred and damaged. It can only be detected by an MRI and/or CT scan.

The study was carried out by Dresden University and the researchers tested 56 patients who had undergone silent strokes, cross referencing with their prevalence of OSA. Of the 56 patients that had undergone a stroke, ninety-one percent had OSA according to an overnight test. The general rate for the population of middle age and older adults floats between twenty and twenty five percent.

It is completely difficult to say whether OSA is a solid predictor of a stroke, due to the fact that a stroke can bring on Sleep Apnea and cause patients require CPAP therapy. However, if they are linked, then CPAP machines and masks are an effective option in reducing the risk of stroke and improving not only sleep quality, but overall health and prevention of adverse medical conditions.