HealthDay News — Men with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) without concomitant comorbidities have cognitive deficits and demonstrate diminished social cognition, according to a study published online April 6 in Frontiers in Sleep.
Valentina Gnoni, M.D., from King’s College London, and colleagues examined cognitive performance in a group of 27 middle-aged men (mean age, 34.0 ± 9.3 years) with untreated OSA without concomitant comorbidities compared to seven matched controls. Sixteen of the patients had mild OSA and 11 had severe OSA.
The researchers noted poorer executive functioning, visuospatial memory, and deficits in vigilance sustained attention, psychomotor, and impulse control in the patient cohort. Individuals with mild OSA generally performed better than those with severe OSA. In these male OSA patients, effects on social cognition were also reported.
“We show poorer executive functioning and visuospatial memory and deficits in vigilance, sustained attention, and psychomotor and impulse control in men with OSA. Most of these deficits had previously been ascribed to comorbidities,” a coauthor said in a statement. “Our study is a proof of concept. However, our findings suggest that comorbidities likely worsen and perpetuate any cognitive deficits caused directly by OSA itself.”
One author disclosed employment with L&M Data Science Ltd.