Sleep Med Psychophysiol.  1997 Dec;4(2):140-146.

Neuropsychiatric Dysfunction in Sleep-Related Breathing Disorders

  • 1Yong-in Mental Hopital.


Sleep-related breathing disorders, especially sleep apnea syndrome are complicated by neuropsychiatric dysfunction such as excessive daytime sleepiness, cognitive dysfunction, and depression. As the determinants of daytime sleepiness, sleep fragmentation is more influential than nocturnal hypoxia. Daytime sleepiness can be improved by continuous positive airway pressure(CPAP) or surgery in up to 95% of the reated subjects. Both sleepiness and nocturnal hypoxia would cause cognitive dysgunction. While impairments in attention and vervbal memory are more related with sleepiness and prominent in mild to moderate sleep apnea syndrome (SAS), impairments in general intellectual function and executive function are morerelated with nocturnal hypoxia and prominent in severe SAS. Several cognitive deficits related with nocturnal hypoxia may be irreversible despite CPAP or surgical treatments. So, early detection and early appropriate treatment of SAS would prevent sleepiness and cognitive deterioration.


Sleep apnea syndrome; daytime sleepiness; cognitive dysfunction; sleep fragmentations; nocturnal hypoxia
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