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J Clin Sleep Med. 2018 May 15;14(5):819-828. doi: 10.5664/jcsm.7114.

Change in Cognition and Other Non-Motor Symptoms With Obstructive Sleep Apnea Treatment in Parkinson Disease.

Author information

Respiratory Epidemiology and Clinical Research Unit, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Respiratory Division and Sleep Laboratory, McGill University Health Centre - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Clinica Alemana de Santiago, Facultad de Medicina, Universidad del Desarrollo, Santiago, Chile.
Montreal Neurological Hospital, McGill University Health Centre - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Deptartment of Medicine and Deptartment of Epidemiology, Biostatistics and Occupational Health, McGill University - Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.



Parkinson disease (PD) non-motor symptoms are associated with sleep disorders and impair quality of life. Our objective was to assess the effect of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment using continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) on PD non-motor symptoms.


In this prospective observational study, 67 patients with idiopathic PD underwent polysomnography. Those with moderate-severe OSA were offered CPAP therapy. Subjects were divided into those without OSA (OSA-), and those with OSA (OSA+). Analyses were conducted for 6 and 12 months' follow-up data. At 6 months, those who had used CPAP at home for at least 1 month were considered CPAP users (OSA+CPAP+), whereas those who did not try it, or declined further treatment following a short trial were considered non-users (OSA+CPAP-). For the 12-month analysis, only those still actively using CPAP at 12 months were included in the OSA+CPAP+ group. Non-motor symptom measurements were: Epworth Sleepiness Scale, Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), Unified Parkinson's Disease Rating Scale part 1 (UPDRS1), Parkinson's Disease Sleep Scale (PDSS), Fatigue Severity Scale, Apathy Scale, Beck Depression Inventory, and Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS).


Sixty-five participants were re-assessed at least once. At 6 months, 30 participants were categorized as OSA+CPAP+, 11 OSA+CPAP-, and 18 OSA-. At 12 months, 21 were categorized as OSA+CPAP+, 21 OSA+CPAP-, and 17 OSA-. The UPDRS1 and PDSS improved from baseline in OSA+CPAP+ at 6 months (-2.7, standard deviation [SD] 4.0, P = .001, and 7.9, SD 19.0, P = .03, respectively) and 12 months (-4.1, SD 5.4, P = .002, and 11.4, SD 24.4, P = .04, respectively), but not in other groups. The MoCA and HADS-A improved in OSA+CPAP+ at 12 months (1.7, SD 3.5, P = .04, and -2.1, SD 3.8, P = .02, respectively). The MoCA improved in those with low baseline MoCA and those with REM sleep behavior disorder. Mean CPAP use in users at 12 months was 3 hours 36 minutes per night.


CPAP treatment of OSA in PD is associated with improved overall non-motor symptoms, sleep quality, anxiety, and global cognitive function over a 12-month period.


CPAP; Parkinson disease; RBD; cognitive function; non-motor symptoms; obstructive sleep apnea

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