CHEST 2014: Obstructive Sleep Apnea Linked To Cognitive Difficulties in Postmenopausal Women

Chitra Lal, MD. Assistant Professor Medical University of South Interview with:
Chitra Lal, MD. Assistant Professor
Medical University of South Carolina



Medical Research: What are the main findings of the study?

Dr. Lal: We studied the prevalence of cognitive problems in early postmenopausal women (age 45-60 years) with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS+) and without obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS-) using a questionnaire called the Mail-In Cognitive Function Screening Instrument (MCFSI).

We found that the mean MCFSI scores after adjusting for depression were significantly higher in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome+ then the OSAS- group, indicating more self-reported cognitive difficulty in OSAS+ women

Medical Research: What was most surprising about the results?

Dr. Lal: Preliminary results on functional MRI scanning showed differences in brain activation patterns in obstructive sleep apnea syndrome+ women with greater self-reported cognitive difficulty as compared to women with less cognitive difficulty.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Lal:

1. Our findings indicate that early postmenopausal women with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome report more cognitive problems than those without obstructive sleep apnea syndrome.

  1. Cognitive dysfunction and OSAS may modulate brain activation patterns on fMRI. 


Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?


Dr. Lal:  Given the association of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome with cognitive problems, future large studies should fully evaluate the impact of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome on cognition in postmenopausal women.

CHEST 2014.

Cognitive Impairment and Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome in Early Postmenopausal Women

Poster Number: 2944 CHEST 2104