Patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) show higher rates of sleep apnea that is often accompanied by nocturnal hypoventilation, according to a retrospective study, reports ALS News Today.

Researchers also found that a method called transcutaneous capnography is able to reliably detect nocturnal hypoventilation, or insufficient breathing, in ALS patients. The study, “Prevalence of sleep apnea and capnographic detection of nocturnal hypoventilation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,” was published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery & Psychiatry.

Researchers investigated the prevalence of sleep disturbances in ALS patients and how they might correlate with patients’ overall neurological status, including disease duration, progression rate, and respiratory muscle function.