A study of patients with Parkinson’s Disease found that those who also had obstructive sleep apnea experienced pronounced sleepiness and motor impairment, reports Neurology Advisor.

Participants with idiopathic PD were included in the study and assessed with an overnight polysomnography. Participants also underwent assessments for PD severity with the Movement Disorder Society Unified Parkinson’s Disease Rating Scale (MDS-UPDRS) and the Hoehn & Yahr (H&Y) Scale. Along with the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), participants were assessed for sleepiness, fatigue, depression, and anxiety. Patients with a history of uncontrolled hypertension, unstable cardiac disease, cancer, stroke, treatment for OSA, or with a life expectancy of less than 6 months were excluded from the study.

The study included 67 patients with a mean age of 64.4 and a mean MDS-UPDRS score of 21.9. OSA, as defined as an apnea-hypopnea index (AHI) of 15 or more per hour, was diagnosed in 70.1% of the participants (n=47, mean AHI 27.1/h).

One or more nonmotor symptoms were reported in 85% of the participants (n=57). Participants with OSA tended to have higher mean Epworth Sleepiness Scales (ESS) (=.028) and lower mean MoCA scores (P =.041). After adjusting for age, sex, and body mass index,  there was a significant association between AHI and higher levels of sleepiness (ESS ?=0.0670, P =.031) and worse cognition (MoCA ?= -0.0520, =.043). Further, there was a linear decrease in the MoCA score as the severity of OSA increased (P =.02 for trend).

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