Don't forget: CPAP compliance boosts memory

Sunday, December 17, 2006

NORTHBROOK, Ill. - Three months of CPAP therapy may improve memory in patients, says a new study in the December issue of Chest.

According to the study, the majority of OSA patients with memory-impairment prior to treatment demonstrated normal memory performance after three months of optimal CPAP use.

The study also showed that memory improvement varied based on CPAP adherence. Patients who used CPAP at least six hours a night were nearly eight times as likely to demonstrate normal memory abilities compared to those who used CPAP fewer than two hours a night.

The study examined the degree in which varying levels of CPAP adherence improved memory in 58 patients with OSA. All patients underwent cognitive evaluation that involved verbal memory testing prior to beginning CPAP treatment and again three months later.

At baseline, all users were equally impaired in verbal memory. After three months of CPAP use, 21% of poor users (less than 2 hours a night), 44% of moderate users (2 to 6 hours a night) and 68% of optimal users (more than 6 hours a night) demonstrated normal memory performance.

According to the authors of the study, findings also suggest that the optimal level of CPAP adherence is uncommon after three months.