Spotlight on Sleep, stroke, and vascular dementia

In this article, Dr. Antonio Culebras of SUNY Upstate Medical University at Syracuse highlights the importance of obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for stroke and vascular dementia. Rehabilitation and recovery of stroke are less successful in the presence of sleep apnea. Habitual short and long sleep durations, long-standing night shift work, and periodic leg movements of sleep negatively affect cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality. Vascular dementia may be a complication of uncontrolled sleep apnea with hypoxemia.

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Spotlight on Autonomic dysfunction in sleep disorders

Sleep and the autonomic nervous system are closely related from an anatomical, physiological, and neurochemical point of view. In this article, Dr. Pietro Cortelli and Dr. Giovanna Calandra-Buonaura of the University of Bologna describe the clinically relevant dysfunctions of cardiovascular and respiratory autonomic control caused by or associated with sleep disorders. In particular, the authors discuss the association between sleep-wake cycle derangement and autonomic sympathetic overactivity in fatal familial insomnia; the autonomic dysfunctions and the genetic discoveries in congenital central alveolar hypoventilation syndrome; the abnormalities of cardiovascular autonomic control in obstructive sleep apnea and narcolepsy type 1; and the relationship among REM sleep behavior disorder, cardiovascular autonomic dysfunction, and neurodegenerative disease. The autonomic dysfunction, particularly when involving cardiovascular or respiratory control, has a negative impact on prognosis of the associated sleep disorder and may represent a risk factor for the development of other chronic diseases or for life-threatening events. A prompt diagnosis of these autonomic dysfunctions is, therefore, of crucial importance to choose the proper therapeutic approach and treat the risk factors that could severely influence the prognosis.

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Spotlight on Sleep and stroke

In this clinical summary, Dr. Culebras of SUNY Upstate Medical University and the Sleep Center at Upstate University Hospital in Syracuse, New York highlights the importance of obstructive sleep apnea as a risk factor for stroke. Rehabilitation and recovery are less successful in the presence of sleep apnea. Habitual short and long sleep durations, long-standing night shift work, and periodic leg movements of sleep negatively affect cerebrovascular morbidity and mortality.

To view the complete clinical summary, click here.

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