Signs Symptoms Of Depression. New York Times Article On Sleep Apnea And Depression ?
Q: lack of concentration and loss of interest in
enjoyable activities are common symptoms of depression. But they are
also symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea, and a new study suggests
that physicians may confuse the two.
A:not everyone who has depression symptoms should automatically be evaluated for a sleep disorder. But they perhaps should speak with their physicians about symptoms which might be suggestive of obstructive sleep apnea. It might be a real effect on the emotional and physiological symptoms of depression,'' he said, ''and the effect seemed to be pretty robust. The researchers studied 50 men and women admitted to the Tampa sleep center. Each was administered a commonly used psychological screening questionnaire, and 41 showed some signs, either marked or mild, of clinical depression. Nineteen participants had been receiving antidepressant medication for at least two months at the time of referral. After receiving treatment for sleep apnea for four to six weeks, 40 of the 41 participants taking antidepressants and those not taking them showed decreases in their depression scores. Although the authors assert that their findings strongly support the potential for CPAP to improve the symptoms of depression, they acknowledge that their study has certain limitations. They did not strictly monitor the treatment, and they concede that the questionnaire they used was designed as a screening tool for depression, not for measuring changes in symptoms. They add that they cannot rule out the possibility of a placebo effect from the treatment. Some participants in the study were probably simply misdiagnosed with depression, the researchers concluded, but they pointed out that the misdiagnosis was not always the problem.