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Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central Sleep Apnea (CSA)

Central sleep apnea is less common than obstructive sleep apnea.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to muscles responsible for breathing. This leads to a lack of respiratory effort and consequently no airflow. This condition differentiates itself from obstructive sleep apnea; where respiratory efforts are present, but breathing is impaired due to obstruction of the upper airway.
Central sleep apnea may occur as a result of other conditions such as congestive heart failure, hypothyroidism and kidney failure. It may also be associated to neurological disorders like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, ALS and Lou Gehrig’s disease, encephalitis-induced brainstem damage, stroke, trauma, and more. Sleeping at a high altitudes may also cause central sleep apnea. Treatments include managing existing conditions, using a device to assist breathing or oxygen supplementation.

Nonetheless, this is a rare form of sleep apnea.

There is another type of central apnea called Cheyne-Stokes respiration (CSR)

Cheyne-Stokes breathing is an abnormal respiratory pattern, characterized by alternating periods of apnea and deep, rapid breathing.

This abnormal breathing pattern is commonly seen in patients afflicted with congestive heart failure, stroke, brain tumors, or damage to their brain, spinal cord, or brain stem. These conditions affects the brain’s respiratory centers, located in the medulla oblongata at the bottom of the brain stem.

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