Loud snoring could be an early warning sign for dementia and memory problems, scientists say.
People with obstructive sleep apnoea, which often causes heavy snoring, did worse in memory tests and have changes in the brain linked to dementia, a study found.
At least half a million Britons suffer from the condition, which is common in middle-aged overweight men and causes the walls of the throat to narrow during sleep, stopping breathing.
Scientists from Sydney University now suggest this could shrink parts of the brain by reducing oxygen levels in the blood.
In a study of 83 people, they found those with sleep apnoea had reduced thickness in their left and right temporal lobes, which are memory centres of the brain and linked to dementia.