Sleep apnoea linked with Alzheimer's by RMIT University study
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A study by Australian and Icelandic researchers has found people with a common sleeping issue have the same signs of brain damage.
New research has confirmed links between sleep apnoea and Alzheimer's disease, after uncovering identical signs of brain damage in both conditions.

The results of the clinical study by Australian and Icelandic researchers, led by RMIT University, has been published in the journal Sleep.

It has widespread implications with around one-in-four Australian men over 30 who have some degree of sleep apnoea - a serious condition that occurs when a person's breathing is repeatedly interrupted during sleep.

The cause of Alzheimer's disease is still unknown but amyloid plaques that are toxic to brain cells are known indicators of the disease.

The latest research shows these plaques start in the same place and spread in the same way in the brains of people with obstructive sleep apnoea, just like those in people with Alzheimer's.

Study leader Professor Stephen Robinson said scientists already knew the two diseases were somehow linked.

File image of someone sleeping with a sleep apnea therapy machine. Credit: Getty Images

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