The neurocognitive disorder Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5 million Americans. Its prevalence is expected to triple by 2060. People affected by Alzheimer’s disease have increasing problems with memory, judgement and doing daily tasks of living as the disease progresses. Various studies have indicated that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and that people with OSA have increased levels of certain biomarkers (e.g., amyloid beta protein) associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have recently noted increased levels of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease in young children with OSA.
This is the fourth article in a series on the changing face of sleep technology. The past three articles focused on technology and the economy. This article focuses on how all these changes could directly impact the future sleep technologist.
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As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I had the distinct pleasure to work with Allan Rechtschaffen. He famously said, “If sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the biggest mistake evolution ever made.” But he was pessimistic that his research in sleep deprivation and the physiology of sleep would ever find that function.
I’m a big fan of Sleep Review. It’s a good way to keep up with all things sleep related like technology developments, business prospects and scientific advances. It’s attractive and well-written. But a recent headline sent me into full-out grumpy old man mode.