The full impact of multisystem disease such as obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) on regions of the central nervous system is debated, as the subsequent neurocognitive sequelae are unclear. Several preclinical studies suggest that its purported major culprits, intermittent hypoxia and sleep fragmentation, can differentially affect adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Although the prospective biphasic nature of chronic intermittent hypoxia in animal models of OSA has been acknowledged, so far the evidence for increased 'compensatory' neurogenesis in humans is uncertain. In a cross-sectional study of 32 patients with mixed severity OSA and 32 non-apnoeic matched controls inferential analysis showed bilateral enlargement of hippocampi in the OSA group. Conversely, a trend for smaller thalami in the OSA group was noted. Furthermore, aberrant connectivity between the hippocampus and the cerebellum in the OSA group was also suggested by the correlation analysis. The role for the ischemia/hypoxia preconditioning in the neuropathology of OSA is herein indicated, with possible further reaching clinical implications.