Obstructive sleep apnea and neurodegenerative diseases: A bidirectional relation

Sleep disorders are common during the clinical course of the main neurodegenerative diseases. Among these disorders, obstructive sleep apnea has been extensively studied in the last decade and recent knowledge regarding its relationship with the neurodegenerative process points a bidirectional relationship. Neurodegenerative diseases can lead to functional changes in the respiratory system that facilitate the emergence of apnea. On the other hand, obstructive sleep apnea itself can lead to acceleration of neuronal death due to intermittent hypoxia. Considering that obstructive sleep apnea is a potentially treatable condition, its early identification and intervention could have a positive impact on the management of patients with neurodegenerative diseases.