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There is a documented association between sleep apnea and earlier onset of cognitive impairment later in life. We hypothesize that nightly treatment with CPAP therapy will improve MCI status as estimated by a panel of neuropsychiatry tests in patients >55 with OSA and concomitant memory complaints. With a prospective cohort design, patients compliant with CPAP therapy are being compared to noncompliant patients and a non-OSA control group. My role in this multi-site project was to screen potential patients from Jefferson’s sleep clinic for eligibility for study enrollment. This study is still ongoing. OSA’s high prevalence makes it a worthwhile endeavor to find successful treatment for the prevention of progression of MCI to Alzheimer’s disease in OSA patients.

I am also playing a key role in a related project examining the effect of CPAP compliance on cardiovascular risk and cardiovascular risk factors in OSA patients. My role is to compile each patient’s monthly CPAP compliance data in order to compare cardiovascular risk factors to measures of effective CPAP use. I am personally focusing on heart rate as a measure of sympathetic nervous system activation. We are in the pilot phase of data collection for this project. For the first sample of 10 patients, greater CPAP compliance was associated with a lower heart rate (insert data). Those that used CPAP greater than x hours a night had the lowest heart rate (insert data). These findings display the pivotal role CPAP therapy can have on improving cardiovascular risk factors in those with OSA.