Study Title:

Sleep-disordered breathing, brain volume, and cognition in older individuals with heart failure.

Study Abstract

Background and purpose: Sleep-disordered breathing is common in individuals with heart failure and may contribute to changes in the brain and decreased cognition. However, limited research has explored how the apnea-hypopnea index contributes to brain structure and cognition in this population. The aims of this study were to explore how the apnea-hypopnea index is associated with brain volume and cognition in heart failure patients.

Methods: Data of 28 heart failure patients (mean age = 67.93; SD = 5.78) were analyzed for this cross-sectional observational study. We evaluated the apnea-hypopnea index using a portable multichannel sleep-monitoring device. All participants were scanned using 3.0 Tesla magnetic resonance imaging and neuropsychological tests. Brain volume was evaluated using a voxel-based morphometry method with T1-weighted images. We used multiple regressions to analyze how the apnea-hypopnea index is associated with brain volume and cognition.

Results: We found an inverse association between apnea-hypopnea index scores and white matter volume (β = -0.002, p = 0.026), but not in gray matter volume (β = -0.001, p = 0.237). Higher apnea-hypopnea index was associated with reduced regional gray and white matter volume (p < 0.001, uncorrected). Cognitive scores were not associated with the apnea-hypopnea index (p-values were >0.05).

Conclusion: Findings from this study provide exploratory evidence that higher apnea-hypopnea index may be associated with greater brain volume reduction in heart failure patients. Future studies are needed to establish the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing, brain volume, and cognition in heart failure samples.

Study Information

Brain Behav. 2018 Jul;8(7):e01029. doi: 10.1002/brb3.1029. Epub 2018 Jun 19. PMID: 29920994; PMCID: PMC6043704.

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