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1094370 tn?1317134825

Brain Lesions caused by Sleep Apnea??

Hi All,

I've been on this forum before but it's been a while so brief history.  20 small brain lesions but inconsistent with MS.  All other tests were negative for MS.  Diagonsed with Lyme disease through Igenex (but not CDC).  Spent a year on ABX but still have some nerve symptoms.

Recently I was also DX with early asthma and saw a pulminory doctor.  I followed-up with him yesterday and he wants to do a sleep study.  I have wondered before if I might have sleep apnea because I never really feel rested after even 9-10 hours of sleep and my hubby says that I do sometimes snore.  Anyhow, I heard from a friend that sleep apnea can cause brain lesions.  I googled it and sure enough....it CAN!  And, it can be very dangerous.

Even with being DX with lyme, I still have anxiety about lyme not being the cause of 20+ lesions.  

Has anyone ever heard of brain lesions being caused by sleep apnea?  Also, I have low blood pressure.  Everytime I go to the doctor, I am asked "is your blood pressure normally this low?".

I didn't know about the brain lesions/sleep apnea connection before my appointment with the pulminory doctor until after I saw him yesterday.  I'm very curious about this.

Thanks all and hope you are all doing well!
11 Responses
739070 tn?1338603402
Hi Carrie,
My skills are in MS and I cannot speak fully to the sleep apnea /lesion connections. Perhaps some else can. I suppose it is possible but I haven't experienced it or researched as of yet.  If I find evidence to match yours I will let you know!
900662 tn?1469390305
I use a Cpap,  I can tell you Ive had the best sleep in years,  my Dr told me   sleep apnea /lesion  aren't not connected to MS, and wouldn't appear in the classic area's for MS.

You really aren't getting the rest your body and mind needs each day,  I took  a long nap the other day without my Cpap,  I felt like pooo.

Hope this helps,

take care

739070 tn?1338603402
Hi carrie,
QUICK search found these links:
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/03/070315075830.htm this states that in elderly patients , lesions appear due to silent strokes due to sleep apnea


I will follow-up when I can. Too tired to concentrate  now, sorry :-(

739070 tn?1338603402
Glad JB chimed in as he is an actual C-PAP user and a regular here. I trust his judgment.

1094370 tn?1317134825
Thanks Rendean and Jonniebear for your comments:

I'm a little confused by Jonniebear's comments.  I do have many lesions that are not classic for MS...are you saying that you doctor said that these in-fact could be from sleep apnea?

I'm glad to hear you are sleeping much better!

Thanks again!
900662 tn?1469390305
Hi,  my lesions are not caused by sleep apnea,  when I asked  the Dr, he told me MS lesions are different than other lesion.

Please go forward with the sleep study,  it takes a fews to get use to the Cpap.

Hope this helps I clarify any of the confusion I may have stated about lesions as it relates to MS lesions.

take care
Avatar universal
I have about 20 small lesions and I have Lyme & Bartonella. My symptoms mimiced MS and IBS. I do not have sleep apnea and I have only had 2-3 migraines in my whole life. I am not old enough for strokes, so the conclusion is that Lyme caused all or nearly all of mine.

Lyme can indeed cause that many lesions. There is a new theory that the combo of Lyme and Bartonella is what causes so many. Bartonella also causes neuro symptoms.  I wonder if your lingering neuro symptoms are from a Bartonella coinfection that wasn't fully treated by the meds you took for Lyme. (You are certainly welcome on the Lyme forum.). What symptoms do you still have? Did any of your lesions shrink or heal during or after abx?  Or did you develop any new ones?
Avatar universal
Hi Carrie.  I am a case worker and I have a client who was recently DX with sleep apnea which subsequently caused numerous brain lesions.  His neurologist tested him for MS and other conditions before finally coming to that determination.  During his sleep study, he woke up 47 times during a 7 hour period.  They said that it needed to be less than 5.  My client does not yet have a CPAP machine however because he does not have insurance.  The local free clinic is trying to secure one for him.  

I am curious as to what your sleep study showed?  And if your doctors ever determined the cause of your lesions. Hope you are feeling better.  
1831849 tn?1383228392
Hi Traci -

Welcome to our merry band. This thread is a little old and I'm not sure Carrie is still around. Just didn't want you to think she was ignoring you :-)

1094370 tn?1317134825
Hi Traci,

I did have my sleep study and it was completely normal...no sleep apnea.  So, in my case, sleep apnea is not the cause of my lesions.  I did have another brain MRI late December 2012 and it was stable.  I do not know what caused my brain lesions....I may never know.

My neuro still wants to do yearly MRI's though for a few more years just to make sure nothing changes.

Avatar universal
I know this thread is old but I also have 20 lesions first discovered at age 37 when I began to have muscle and joint stiffness all over, numbness in my arms, mood regulation issues, mild neurocognitive decline and some hallucinations and paranoia. I’m now pushing 39 and we still have not figured out the cause but MS was ruled out. My lesions are mostly in the parietal lobe but a CT scan also showed calcifications on my basal ganglia “typically only seen with advanced age” according to the report which was otherwise vague. I’m being referred to Mayo now as even the best neurology team in the state can’t figure out what is going on. My labs are all good. I am unable to lose weight with any amount of calorie deficit tho which is disheartening for someone who, 3 years ago, was a size 2 and worked out with a personal trainer four times a week. I was also at the top of my career field which also ended due to the issues presumably caused by my brain lesions. Now I am unemployed and filing for disability which makes me want to jump off a bridge. I probably won’t but the urge remains, nevertheless. I feel useless in a society that only values people who can produce something.
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