MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Marcus Povitz MD
Department of Community Health Sciences
University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Adjunct Professor and Clinical Fellow
Western University Department of Medicine,
Western University, London, Ontario, Canada
Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?
Dr. Povitz: Both depression and obstructive sleep apnea are important causes of illness and have overlapping symptoms. Both feature poor quality sleep, difficulty with concentration and memory as well as daytime sleepiness or fatigue. Previous research showed that depression is common in individuals with sleep apnea, but studies investigating the effect of treating sleep apnea on depressive symptoms have had conflicting results. Our study combined the results of all randomized controlled trials of participants who were treated for sleep apnea with CPAP or mandibular advancement devices where symptoms of depression were measured both before and after treatment. We found that in studies of individuals without a lot of symptoms of depression there was still a small improvement in these symptoms after treatment with CPAP or mandibular advancement device. In 2 studies of individuals with more symptoms of depression there was a large improvement in symptoms of depression.