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Sleep impaired attention and memory

Oct 25th 2013 at 12:40 AM

Obstructive sleep is a disorder in which the sufferer breathing pauses when asleep or has shallow breathing. These pauses can occur more than 30 times per hour, because the airways are narrowed or blocked during sleep.

The problem is that those affected have a poor quality sleep and suffer a marked daytime tiredness. Furthermore, this sleep disturbance has shown some relationship to the presence, at a later time, stroke as stroke.

However, fatigue is not the only consequence of obstructive sleep apnea. Many studies have tried to determine the cognitive problems that occur in these patients. Recently, a study published in the journal; has tried to clarify this issue. To do this, the authors have analyzed several systematic reviews on the subject (meta-review) concluded that patients with this type of apnea usually show from deficits in sustained attention and vigilance (as we need to stay focused on an activity for a long time) to failure in long-term memory visual and verbal, that is, the ability to remember things learned while in both pictures and in words.

In addition also have found alterations in visuospatial constructive skills, such as doing a puzzle and problems in executive functions necessary for planned or solve problems.

Despite such research, scientists still do not know clearly the effect of apnea on working memory, short-term memory or overall cognitive functioning.
What it does is clear from the studies reviewed is that treatment with continuous positive pressure airway appears to improve some of these symptoms (executive functions and memory), and improve sleep quality.

Are many things to learn, such as the role of individual patient characteristics on improving symptoms and the potential benefit of cognitive interventions other programs such as attention and perception exercises that can help improve the situation of these people.

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