Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or other sleep problems may indicate another healthissue, according to the results of a small study of 22 participants. Sleep problems can bepart of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, and bipolar disorder, among other disorders.The participants being examined for OSA also were assessed for the degree of sleepapnea and the level of attention impairment.
The researchers found that 55% of the participants showed pronounced attention impairmentat the study's onset. Significant improvement was observed, however, after thepatients received continuous positive airway pressure treatment. Another 18% of thepatients still continued to have serious attention-deficit problems even after treatment, however.They were diagnosed with adult attention-deficit disorder and needed medication andskills training. Further testing found that many of the patients also had fibromyalgia, chronicfatigue, and depression. (The findings were reported during the American College of ChestPhysicians meeting, October 25, 2005.)