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Old 01-14-2012, 04:22 AM   #20
APACHEFIRE
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What Is Central Sleep Apnea?

In central sleep apnea, breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is usually associated with serious illness, especially an illness in which the lower brainstem -- which controls breathing -- is affected. In infants, central sleep apnea produces pauses in breathing that can last 20 seconds.

Who Gets Central Sleep Apnea?

In general, the main risk factors for sleep apnea are male gender, being overweight, and being over 40 years of age. However, anyone can have any of the types of sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea is often associated with other conditions. One form of central sleep apnea, however, has no known cause and is not associated with any other disease. In addition, central sleep apnea can occur with obstructive sleep apnea, or it can occur alone.

Conditions that may be associated with central sleep apnea include the following:

*neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral
sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease)
*damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors
*complications of cervical spine surgery
*radiation to the cervical spine area
*damage to the cervical spine or base of the skull caused by severe arthritis, other types of
degenerative bone disorders, or some other type of injury
*primary hyperventilation syndrome
*congestive heart failure


What Are the Symptoms of Central Sleep Apnea?

The main symptom of central sleep apnea is temporary stoppages of breathing while asleep. Although snoring is a very strong symptom of obstructive sleep apnea, snoring is usually not found with central sleep apnea.

Symptoms may also include:

*being very tired during the day
*waking up often during the night
*going to the bathroom often during the night
*having headaches in the early morning
*poor memory and difficulty concentrating
*mood problems

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WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. See additional information.

Last edited by APACHEFIRE; 01-14-2012 at 03:30 PM..
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