Document Type : Review Article
Laboratory of Respiratory Sleep Disorders, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine University of Thessaly, Biopolis, Larissa, Greece
Laboratory of Cardio-Pulmonary Testing and Pulmonary Rehabilitation, Department of Respiratory Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Biopolis, Larissa, Greece
Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Biopolis, Larissa, Greece
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Thessaly, Biopolis, Larissa, Greece
Sleep Study Unit, Eginition Hospital, University of Athens Medical School, Athens, Greece
Background: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) is a disorder with high prevalence among adults and is an independent risk factor for various diseases, especially those affecting the central nervous system (CNS). Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) is usually the optimal choice of treatment for OSAS. Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease affecting a large proportion of the elderly population. The purpose of this study was to collect information concerning the two pathological entities and investigate the effectiveness of CPAP in the treatment of AD.
Materials and Methods: In this review, Twenty articles were found concerning OSAS and AD, of which one article was about treatment with donepezil and seven articles considered treatment with CPAP.
Results: Serious OSAS and short sleep duration are associated with a high risk of developing dementia. Respiratory distress during sleep is associated with developing mild cognitive impairment at younger ages. The cerebrovascular damage of AD patients is correlated with the severity of OSAS. Lower cerebrospinal fluid levels are associated with memory disturbances and oxygen saturation parameters in patients with OSAS-AD. Continuous use of CPAP is related to the delayed onset of cognitive impairment and is suggested as an effective method of protecting cognitive function, depression, sleep quality and architecture, and daytime sleepiness in AD patients with good compliance. Treatment of CPAP patients with OSAS-AD is suggested as an effective method of protecting cognitive function.
Conclusion: Clinicians dealing with AD patients should consider CPAP treatment when OSAS coexists.