Depression Treatment and OSA

Obstructive Sleep Apnea May Be One Reason Depression Treatment Doesn’t Work

Publication: Mental Health Weekly Digest

Study Author: Dr. W. Vaughn McCall, chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Health Behavior at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University

Publisher: NewsRX LLC

According to recent findings, there may be a link between unsuccessful treatment of depression and undiagnosed obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). When a patient has treatment-resistant depression, sleep testing is warranted; even for those who do not fit the usual criteria for sleep apnea.

“[Dr. W. Vaughn McCall] found clinically relevant disease in 14% of 125 adult patients with major depressive disorder, insomnia and suicidal thoughts, even though the sleep-wrecking apnea was an exclusion criterion for the original study. While more work remains, McCall reasons that the new evidence already suggests that testing for obstructive sleep apnea should be part of the guidelines for managing treatment resistant depression.”

Dr. McCall’s original study focused on treating insomnia and depression in tandem, in order to reduce suicidal thoughts. There were 125 people enrolled in the study. Of those, 17 tested positive for OSA.

“Forty-four percent of the 125 patients in this study had treatment-resistant depression and four of the 17 diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea had severe problems. Most with obstructive sleep apnea were in the upper end of the age range of 18 to 65 — sleep apnea and other sleep problems tend to increase with age — and were similar in other respects like sex and weight.”

Sleep apnea tends to produce excessive daytime sleepiness but this study was recruiting for patients with insomnia…rather issues like anxiety, stress and depression and other emotional and psychological factors are more likely interfering with their sleep. Rather than complain of daytime sleepiness, females are more likely to say they are unable to fall asleep and stay asleep at night and are more likely to be depressed, McCall says.”

Full Text:

“Obstructive sleep apnea may be one reason depression treatment doesn’t work.” Mental Health Weekly Digest, 5 Aug. 2019, p. 320. COPYRIGHT 2019 NewsRX LLC

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s