Adherence to continuous positive airway pressure treatment in patients with Alzheimer's disease and obstructive sleep apnea

Am J Geriatr Psychiatry. 2006 Feb;14(2):176-80. doi: 10.1097/


Objective: This analysis examined whether patients with Alzheimer disease (AD) tolerate continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP).

Method: Thirty patients with AD were randomized to CPAP or sham CPAP and completed sleep, depression, and quality-of-life questionnaires. Participants could choose to continue treatment after the trial.

Results: Patients wore CPAP for 4.8 hours per night. More depressive symptoms were associated with worse adherence (rS=-0.37; N=30, p<0.04). Patients who continued using CPAP had fewer depressive symptoms (t [19]=2.45, p=0.02) and better adherence (t [19]=2.32, p=0.03) during the trial.

Conclusion: Patients with AD with obstructive sleep apnea can tolerate CPAP. Adherence and long-term use may be more difficult among those patients with more depressive symptoms.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Alzheimer Disease / epidemiology*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Compliance / statistics & numerical data*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / epidemiology*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy*