Obstructive sleep apnea in Parkinson's disease: A prevalent, clinically relevant and treatable feature

Parkinsonism Relat Disord. 2023 Oct:115:105790. doi: 10.1016/j.parkreldis.2023.105790. Epub 2023 Aug 1.


Parkinson's disease (PD) is a chronic neurodegenerative disease characterized by motor and non-motor symptoms, including obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a common comorbid sleep disorder. The prevalence of OSA in PD is high, and its impact on quality of life, accident risk, and limited treatment options underscores the need for vigilant monitoring and effective interventions. OSA is observed in 20-70% of PD patients, whereas the general population exhibits a lower prevalence ranging from 2 to 14%. These discrepancies in prevalence may be attributed to differences in demographic characteristics, sample sizes with selection bias, and variations in scoring systems for apnea and hypopnea events used across different studies. This review highlights the potential pathogenesis of comorbid OSA in PD and provides an overview of ongoing clinical trials investigating interventions for this condition. Several mechanisms have been implicated in the development of OSA in PD, including intermittent hypoxemia, sleep fragmentation, alterations in the glymphatic system homeostasis, upper airway obstruction, and inflammation. Given the adverse effects of PD comorbid OSA, early intervention measures are crucial. It is imperative to conduct longitudinal studies and clinical trials to elucidate the pathogenesis and develop novel and effective interventions for OSA in PD patients. These efforts aim to delay the progression of PD, enhance patients' quality of life, and alleviate the burden on society and families.

Keywords: Epidemiology; Obstructive sleep apnea; Parkinson's disease; Pathogenesis.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases*
  • Parkinson Disease* / complications
  • Parkinson Disease* / epidemiology
  • Polysomnography
  • Quality of Life
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / complications
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive* / epidemiology