Treating obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) with continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) may lower the risk of seizures in patients with epilepsy, researchers reported here, reports Medpage Today.

In a single-center study of patients treated at the Cleveland Clinic, a larger proportion of epilepsy patients with OSA who had CPAP therapy reported at least a 50% reduction in seizures from baseline at 1 year compared with those who weren’t treated, and with those who didn’t have OSA (63% versus 14% and 44%), according to Thapanee Somboon, MD, of the Cleveland Clinic, and colleagues, in a poster presentation at the American Epilepsy Society meeting.

Somboon said few clinicians screen their epilepsy patients for this condition. “Neurologists don’t often ask their epilepsy patients about sleep, but sleep affects everything,” she told MedPage Today.

At the same time, “many people with epilepsy don’t realize they have sleep apnea,” she noted. “Being diagnosed is the first step towards getting effective treatment and potentially decreasing the risk of seizures.”