Inhibitory motor control in apneic and insomniac patients: a stop task study.

J Sleep Res. 2007-12-01; 16(4): 381-387
DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2007.00607.x

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1. J Sleep Res. 2007 Dec;16(4):381-7.

Inhibitory motor control in apneic and insomniac patients: a stop task study.

Sagaspe P(1), Philip P, Schwartz S.

Author information:
(1)Clinique du Sommeil, CHU Pellegrin, Place Amélie Raba-Léon, Bordeaux Cedex,

The aim of this study was to assess with a stop task the inhibitory motor control
efficiency–a major component of executive control functions–in patients
suffering from sleep disorders. Twenty-two patients with untreated obstructive
sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) (mean age 46 +/- 9 years; mean apnea-hypopnea index,
AHI = 30 +/- 20) and 13 patients with psychophysiological insomnia (mean age 47
+/- 12 years) were compared with individually matched healthy controls. Sleep
disturbances in the patient populations were clinically and polysomnographically
diagnosed. The stop task has a frequent visual ‘Go’ stimulus to set up a response
tendency and a less frequent auditory ‘Stop’ signal to withhold the planned or
prepotent response. The stop signal reaction time (SSRT) reflects the time to
internally suppress the ongoing response. SSRT was slower for the apneic patients
than for their respective controls (248 +/- 107 versus 171 +/- 115 ms, anova, P <
0.05) but not for the insomniac patients compared with their controls (235 +/-
112 versus 194 +/- 109 ms, NS). Moreover, in apneic patients, slower SSRT was
associated with lower nocturnal oxygen saturation (r = -0.477, P < 0.05). By
contrast, neither apneics nor insomniacs differed from their matched controls for
reaction times on Go trials. To conclude, unlike insomniacs, OSAS patients
present an impaired inhibitory motor control, an executive function which is
required in many common everyday life situations. Inhibitory motor control relies
on the integrity of the inferior prefrontal cortex, which could be affected by
nocturnal oxyhemoglobin desaturation in apneic patients.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2869.2007.00607.x
PMID: 18036083 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus