"Although sleep apnea is clearly linked to attention deficit in adults, treating the sleep disorder may not always improve a patient's daytime attention and cognition," said the study's lead author, Clifford G. Risk, MD, PhD, FCCP, Marlborough Center for Sleep Disorders, Marlborough, MA. "Many people with a sleep disorder and attention deficit may suffer from multiple underlying conditions, such as fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue, that are reflected during sleep and disrupt the sleep process."
Dr. Risk and colleagues from the Marlborough Center for Sleep Disorders administered polysomnograms (PSGs) to 50 patients who presented to a sleep center for nonrestorative sleep, daytime sleepiness, and fatigue and found that 33 patients (66.0%) suffered from OSA. Daytime sleepiness levels were then evaluated using the Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS), a self-report questionnaire on a scale of 0 to 24, and attention deficit was measured by the Adult Self-Report Scale (ASRS) Symptom Checklist, on a scale of 0 to 36. Following treatment with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), the average ESS score for patients with sleep apnea improved significantly, from 11.6 to 2.7, and the average ASRS score was significantly reduced, from 17.4 to 10.4. Researchers identified 15 patients with possible or probable attention deficit disorder (ADD), on the basis of having a moderate-to-severe impaired ASRS score, and found that with CPAP treatment, nine of these patients (60%) dropped into normal ranges. Fur
Contact: Jennifer Stawarz
American College of Chest Physicians