Tags: sleep | apnea | pap | depress

Apnea Therapy Treats Depression

Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:51 PM

A common treatment for sleep apnea -- “positive airway pressure” therapy (PAP) – has been found to be as effective in treating depression in people with sleep problems as taking an antidepressant.
A new study of patients seen at the Cleveland Clinic Sleep Disorders Center found virtually all reported improvements in depressive symptoms after using PAP therapy – even when they followed the prescribed PAP regimen only partly.
"The [symptom] improvements remained significant even after taking into account whether a patient had a prior diagnosis of depression or was taking an antidepressant," said lead researcher Dr. Charles Bae. "The improvements were greatest in sleepy, adherent patients but even non-adherent patients had better [results].”
The findings, presented at the 26th annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Boston last week, are based on an analysis of nearly 800 patients with sleep apnea. The patients were asked to fill out a standardized form to assess depressive symptoms, common in people with apnea, before and after PAP treatment.
The researchers found patients who used their PAP devices more than four hours per night had greater improvements than those who used it less.
Apnea is a sleep-related breathing disorder that occurs when the tissue in the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway, causing the body to stop breathing during sleep. It disrupts sleep and can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke. PAP therapy keeps the airway open with a stream of air delivered through a mask worn over the nose or face.

© HealthDay

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A common treatment for sleep apnea is found to be as effective as an antidepressant.
Tuesday, 19 June 2012 12:51 PM
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