Dr. Marta Kaminska, McGill University Health Centre, Montréal, QC

With an aging population, neurodegenerative disorders are on the rise and a major burden on individuals and healthcare systems. Sleep disturbances are part of neurodegenerative disorders but are also increasingly recognized as adversely affecting brain health. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which is common in the elderly, appears to be a risk factor for mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. There are no effective treatments for these disorders, and prevention through treatment of risk factors is currently the main intervention for reducing their incidence. Therefore, how OSA affects brain health and whether its treatment can slow neurodegeneration are highly relevant questions. This session will focus on the aging brain and the link between sleep, OSA and most common neurodegenerative diseases.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this presentation, attendees will be able to:

  • Describe epidemiologic evidence suggesting a link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and neurodegenerative disorders;
  • Explain the proposed mechanisms whereby OSA can predispose to cognitive impairment; and
  • Describe how to prescribe and adjust home mechanical ventilation in stable COPD.

CanMEDs Competencies addressed:
Health Advocate, Medical Expert, Scholar