Bouncing off the walls: Obstructive sleep apnea could contribute to ADHD

Friday, August 5, 2011

Can’t focus. Can’t pay attention. Can’t sit still. These are some of the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

Does obstructive sleep apnea contribute to ADHD?  A new review of OSA and ADHD examined the evidence.  It was published in the August issue of Annals of Clinical Psychiatry.

The reviewers found that six studies have observed the effects of OSA treatment on ADHD. Up to 95 percent of people with OSA had attention deficits. In those with full-blown ADHD, 20 to 30 percent had OSA.

ADHD symptoms improved after the treatment of OSA in all six studies.  Patients saw improvement in their behavior, attention span, and overall ADHD symptoms.

More studies are needed to further clarify the relationship between OSA and ADHD. But treating OSA appears to have a positive effect on the symptoms of ADHD.

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