Daytime impairment and neurodegeneration in OSAS

Sleep. 2006 Dec;29(12):1521-30. doi: 10.1093/sleep/29.12.1521.


Controversy surrounds the pathogenesis of neurocognitive daytime dysfunction exhibited by patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS). Underlying brain dysfunctions and damage have long been suspected as a cause of some of this impairment. Neuroimaging has enabled scientists to test these long-held theories. This paper is based on a comprehensive review of recent publications on neuroimaging studies in this area. It seeks to highlight results of recent research, which suggest connections between persistent neurocognitive daytime impairment of executive functions, underlying signs of cerebral metabolic impairment and neurodegeneration, considering possible cerebrovascular impairment in OSAS patients. We propose the existence of a neurodegenerative process.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Circadian Rhythm / physiology*
  • Cognition Disorders / diagnosis
  • Cognition Disorders / etiology*
  • Continuous Positive Airway Pressure / methods
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / diagnosis
  • Disorders of Excessive Somnolence / etiology
  • Humans
  • Nerve Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology*
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Polysomnography
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / complications*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / diagnosis*
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive / therapy
  • Sleep, REM / physiology
  • Wakefulness