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Cysteine is a Potential Biomarker for Sleep Apnea

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A new study in the journal Chest concludes that the amino acid cysteine may be a biomarker for the development of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). The plasma biomarker was found to be elevated in patients with OSA, independent of obesity status.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a risk factor for a number of cardiovascular conditions. Although homocysteine and cysteine are regarded as cardiovascular risk factors, few studies have analyzed Hcy and Cys plasma concentrations in patients with OSA.

Brazilian researchers compared plasma cysteine levels in 75 patients with OSA with 75 control subjects. Plasma cysteine levels were higher in patients with OSA compared to control subjects; homocysteine plasma levels did not differ between the two groups. This result was also observed in a subgroup of lean patients with a BMI < 25 that had OSA, ruling out a difference due to obesity. A significant decrease in plasma cysteine levels was observed following 6 months of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) effective therapy. Study: Cysteine: A Potential Biomarker for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Source: The American College of Chest Physicians