Reaction time performance in upper airway resistance syndrome versus obstructive sleep apnea syndrome

Riccardo A. Stoohs, Pierre Philip, Daniela Andries, Emily V.A. Finlayson, Christian Guilleminault
Sleep Medicine. 2009-10-01; 10(9): 1000-1004
DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.11.005

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1. Sleep Med. 2009 Oct;10(9):1000-4. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.11.005. Epub 2009 May

Reaction time performance in upper airway resistance syndrome versus obstructive
sleep apnea syndrome.

Stoohs RA(1), Philip P, Andries D, Finlayson EV, Guilleminault C.

Author information:
(1)Stanford Sleep Disorders Clinic and Research Center, CA 94403, USA.

BACKGROUND: Patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS) are known to
have an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes. They suffer from sleep-related
respiratory abnormality causing repetitive arousal leading to daytime sleepiness.
In turn, it has been demonstrated that sleepiness can impair human psychomotor
performance causing slowing of reaction times (RTs). Patients with OSAS present
with RTs comparable to young adults under the influence of blood alcohol
concentrations above the legally permitted level to drive a motor vehicle.
Vigilance related risk levels in patients with upper airway resistance syndrome
(UARS) and potential deficits in psychomotor performance are unknown.
METHODS: We designed a study to compare psychomotor performance in UARS and
compared it to patients with OSAS. Forty-seven UARS patients were matched by
gender and age with 47 OSAS patients. All subjects completed a standardized
vigilant attention task utilizing reaction time before undergoing polygraphic
sleep studies.
RESULTS: Patients with UARS presented worse psychomotor performance on most test
metrics than patients with OSAS.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study results may suggest that patients with UARS may also
present an increased risk for motor vehicle crashes as previously demonstrated in
OSAS patients.

DOI: 10.1016/j.sleep.2008.11.005
PMID: 19410510 [Indexed for MEDLINE]

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