Sleep Apnea Treatment Improves Golf Performance!

 

A new study suggests treating obstructive sleep apnea with continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP therapy, improves golf performance in middle-aged men.

 

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Up to six months of CPAP treatment was associated with significant improvements in excessive daytime sleepiness.
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CPAP patients also experienced better quality of life and an 11% drop in their average handicap index.

Among the more skilled golfers with baseline handicaps of 12 or less, the average handicap dropped by 31%.

Patients attributed their enhanced performance to improved concentration, endurance and decision making.

Click here to take an on-line test to see if you might have a sleep disoder.

Click here to find out more about sleep disorders in general.

And find out more about the Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Program at Monmouth Neuroscience Institute.

Sleepy all the time? Getting forgetfull? Don’t miss the Monmouth Neuroscience Peace of Mind event on Sept 11.


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Call 1-888-724-7123 now to register, before you forget!

Restless Leg Syndrome and early death?

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A recent study in Neurology got a lot of press recently when it suggested that men with restless leg syndrome (RLS) are at a 40% higher risk of death from all causes than similar men  without the condition.  Dr. Xiang Gao, and his colleagues at Harvard, followed 18,000 men over 8 years and found evidence of increased mortality in men with RLS, even when controlling for other risk factors.

RLS typically causes discomfort in the legs and feet during the night.  This discomfort is often relieved by moving the legs, rubbing the feet, or walking around.  It often can impact sufferers’ ability to fall asleep and stay asleep.  In severe cases, it can affect the arms and can also occur during the day.

There has not been any convincing evidence that it is otherwise dangerous, however.  In fact, several previous studies looking at the condition did not show a link to early death.

Because RLS is shown to cause sleep fragmentation and insomnia, it could be argued that the increased mortality risk seen in this study is a result of generally poor sleep, and not RLS per se.  Therefore, these results should be interpreted with extreme caution.

This study, if nothing else, indicates the need for further research on this elusive disorder.

Why it happens and what it means are still generally unknown.

It can profoundly impact sleep quality and therefore quality of life.

There are some who do not believe RLS is a legitimate disorder. Those who live with the disorder would disagree.

RLS can be quite debilitating.  However, many treatment options exist for RLS and many of the symptoms can be improved.

If you think you may have RLS, seeing a neurologist or a sleep specialist is often the best step.

Another reason to take snoring seriously! Sleep apnea linked to strokes.

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Sleep apnea, the disorder that causes a person to stop breathing suddenly while sleeping, is already known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, heart failure, and daytime sleepiness.

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A new study suggests that the sleep disorder is also linked with small brain lesions and a symptomless form of stroke, known as silent stroke.

In the study, 56 men and women ( aged 44 to 75 years) who’d had a recent stroke or TIA underwent overnight polysomnograms.  91% had sleep apnea.

Furthermore, having more than five episodes of sleep apnea in a night was linked with having multiple extra “silent strokes” on their brain imaging studies.

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Silent strokes don’t cause any symptoms as they occur, so a person typically doesn’t know he or she has suffered one, but they can eventually lead to memory loss and difficulties with walking, as their effects accumulate over the years.”

Yet another reason to take the on-line sleepiness test, and if your score is >10 see a sleep specialist and/or get an overnight polysomnogram in a certified sleep laboratory.

Is sleep apnea making my child’s ADD/ADHD worse?

The short answer? Maybe!

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a fairly common, yet under-diagnosed condition in which the upper airway collapses during sleep. This leads to “microarousals” during sleep that prevents a good night’s rest.

The disorder is seen in both adults and children:

In adults, it usually manifests as daytime sleepiness.

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In kids and adolescents, the symptoms are sometimes more subtle.  They can take the form of lack of focus in school, a perception of hyperactivity, or learning difficulties.  One recent study showed clear negative effects of OSA on behavior regulation and some aspects of attention and executive functioning. Furthermore, another study showed that urban schoolchildren with aggressive behaviors have symptoms of OSA at a significantly higher frequency than others.

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If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you’re right! They overlap quite a bit with some of the symptoms of ADD/ADHD.

There’s no clear evidence that OSA causes ADD/ADHD. However, the manifestations of OSA can sometimes mimic that of ADD/ADHD. Additionally, in patients already diagnosed with ADD/ADHD, there is convincing evidence that OSA worsens symptoms of inattention and behavioral issues.

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Most importantly, treatment of the OSA seems to have a favorable impact on behavioral issues.

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So, what should you do?

Kids (or adults) with the diagnosis or suspicion of ADD/ADHD who also complain of excessive sleepiness during the day, snore loudly, or whose parents see them have pauses in breathing at night should be evaluated by a sleep specialist. It’s possible that further testing with a sleep study would then be warranted. Again, OSA does not cause ADD/ADHD — but it does seem that treatment can improve behaviors.

Post provided courtesy of Matthew J. Davis, MD

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Find out more:

Sleep disorders in general,

NY Times Sunday Review article on this same subject.

Monmouth’s Sleep Lab,

Monmouth Neuroscience Institute’s Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Program.

A Comprehensive Sleep Medicine Evaluation

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Sleep disorders are common and underdiagnosed. Studies have shown that initial consultation and follow-up with a fellowship trained sleep medicine physician is more likely to resolve symptoms than direct referral for a polysomnogram by a primary care physician.

If you think you might have a sleep disorder, ask your doctor for a referral to a sleep medicine specialist!