The effect of positive airway pressure therapy on neurocognitive functions, depression and anxiety in obesity hypoventilation syndrome

Multidiscip Respir Med. 2016 Oct 11;11:35. doi: 10.1186/s40248-016-0071-2. eCollection 2016.


Background: The aim of this study is to evaluate the presence of neurocognitive dysfunctions, depression and anxiety and the effect of positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy on these alterations in Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome (OHS) patients.

Methods: Ten healthy normal and obese controls, 10 OHS and 10 OSAS patients were included in the study. Short form-36, Beck Depression Scale and State-Trade Anxiety Inventory (STAI 1-2) were performed. Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Montreal Cognitive Assessment Scale (MOCA), Enhanced Cued Recall (ECR) and Mini Mental Test (MMT) were used for neurocognitive evaluation. All tests were repeated after one night PAP therapy in OHS and OSAS groups.

Results: OHS patients had the lowest scores of physical (PF) and social functioning (SF) in SF-36. The total number of persistent errors and incorrect answers were the highest in OHS group in WCST. The scores of MOCA, ECR and MMT were lower; depression and anxiety scores were higher in OHS group than in controls (p = 0,00). There was a significant increase in the completed categories in OHS after PAP therapy (p = 0,03). There were also significant increases in MOCA, ECR and MMT scores and significant decreases in depression and anxiety scores with respect to PAP therapy.

Conclusions: Cognitive dysfunction, depression and anxiety are important under-recognized comorbidities in OHS. It is suggested that short term PAP therapy had positive effects on neurocognitive functions, depression and anxiety but further multicentre, prospective studies with large number of cases are needed to evaluate the effect of long term PAP therapy on these parameters.

Keywords: Anxiety; Depression; Neurocognitive evaluation; Obesity Hypoventilation Syndrome; Positive airway pressure (PAP); SF-36.