Cognitive impairment in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: a descriptive review.

Mina Caporale, Rosanna Palmeri, Francesco Corallo, Nunzio Muscarà, Laura Romeo, Alessia Bramantia, Silvia Marino, Viviana Lo Buono

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a clinical sleep disorder defined by total or partial airflow restraint during sleep that results in fragmented sleep and hypoxemia, impacting negatively with cognitive functioning. This review was conducted on studies investigating structural brain alteration and cognitive impairment in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Method: We searched on PubMed databases and screening references of included studies and review articles for additional citations. From initial 190 publications, only 17 met search criteria and described the cognitive impairment in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

Results: Findings showed that patients with this syndrome had worse performance than healthy controls in attention, memory, and executive functions, showing specific neuroanathomical features. Cognitive impairment is also related to the severity of pathology. Treatment could improve certain cognitive aspects.

Conclusions: Cognitive deficits seem to be mainly attributable to decreased daytime vigilance and nocturnal hypoxemia.

Keywords: Cognitive functioning; Memory impairment; Obstructive apnea; Quality of life; Sleep disorders.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSleep and Breathing
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2020

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