Evaluation of the Impact of Sleep Apnea on Cerebral Volumetry According to Age

  • End date
    Aug 25, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Saint Etienne
Updated on 25 January 2021
cognitive decline


Sleep apnea is a common disease in the general population and more particularly in elderly subjects in whom prevalence can reach 30 % after 70 years old. In adults (<55 years old) cardiovascular consequences are well known and make sleep apnea treatment necessary. However elderly (>70 years old) apneic subjects are less symptomatic in terms of sleepiness, they usually present a lower index of respiratory events and cardiovascular consequences in this population are still discussed, driving some authors to consider sleep apnea in the elderly as a specific disease and making the need for a treatment questionable.

In this study the investigators will focus on the comparison between adult and elderly apneic subjects in terms of cognitive and cardiovascular consequences. Adult apneic patients suffer from a decrease of cognitive performance as well as grey matter local atrophy, particularly in the hippocampus and in the frontal lobes. According to fewer studies, white matter can also be affected by a demyelinisation process. These structural modifications are sometimes associated with disorders of executive and memory functions. In the elderly, no clear association can be drawn between cognitive decline and sleep apnea. Moreover, to our knowledge, the cerebral state of elderly symptomatic apneic subjects has mostly not be investigated.


The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact of sleep apnea on the brain according to age. Our hypothesis is that adult apneic subjects would present local cerebral modification in the areas implied in cognition and memory, such as the hippocampus or the frontal areas, whereas elderly patients would present focal affects related to a deficit in the ventilatory and autonomic control without any major cognitive consequences.

Understanding the consequences of sleep apnea according to age could permit to refine the indications of sleep apnea treatment, mainly in elderly patients.

Condition Senility, Obstructive sleep apnea, Aging, obstructive sleep apnoea, obstructive sleep apnea syndrome
Treatment Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), cognitive assessment
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02358811
SponsorCentre Hospitalier Universitaire de Saint Etienne
Last Modified on25 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

-55 or more than 70 years old
SAOS (AHI>30) never treated before
consent form signed
Inclusion Criteria for subjects
-55 or more than 70 years old
No SAOS (AHI<10)
consent form signed

Exclusion Criteria

Contraindication in the practice of MRI: pacemaker, metallic cardiac valve, intra-ocular metal part
Contraindication in the injection of Gadolinium (allergy during a previous radiological examination)
Type 1 or 2 diabetes
History of cerebrovascular accident, myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure
Chronic and/or severe renal insufficiency
Chronic respiratory failure
Neurological pathology
Central origin sleep apnea (AHIcentral > 15)
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