In central sleep apnea, breathing is disrupted regularly during sleep because of the way the brain functions. It is not that you cannot breathe (which is true in obstructive sleep apnea); rather, you do not try to breathe at all. The brain does not tell your muscles to breathe. This type of sleep apnea is usually associated with serious illness, especially an illness in which the lower brainstem -- which controls breathing -- is affected. In infants, central sleep apnea produces pauses in breathing that can last 20 seconds. "Congestive heart failure Hypothyroid Disease Kidney failure Neurological diseases, such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig's disease) Damage to the brainstem caused by encephalitis, stroke, injury, or other factors" As previously stated, the ICSD-22 identifies 5 central sleep apnea syndromes that can affect the adult population.