Memory and Executive Screening for the Detection of Cognitive Impairment in Obstructive Sleep Apnea

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Abstract

Background:

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is commonly associated with cognitive dysfunction, which is more apparent in severe OSA and impairs quality of life. However, the clinical screening methods for these impairments in OSA are still limited. In this study, we evaluated the feasibility of using the Memory and Executive Screening (MES) for assessing cognitive performance in OSA.

Materials and Methods:

Twenty-four patients with nonsevere OSA and 36 patients with severe OSA participated in this study. All participants underwent comprehensive, laboratory-based polysomnography and completed assessments of cognitive function, which included both the MES and the Beijing version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA-BJ).

Results:

Both the total MES scores and 5 recall scores of the MES (MES-5R) were significantly lower in the severe OSA group than those in the nonsevere OSA group. The patients with severe OSA performed worse on the memory subtests of the MES-5R, especially on immediate recall. The sensitivity and specificity of the MES for identifying cognitive impairment in patients with OSA were 63.89% and 66.67%, respectively, for a cutoff value of <92 out of 100 points. An optimal cutoff between nonsevere and severe OSA was also set at 45 points (MES-5R) and at 0.94 points (MES ratio). Compared with the MES, the MoCA-BJ had similar sensitivity (61.11%) and specificity (66.67%).

Conclusions:

The MES is an acceptable tool for detecting cognitive dysfunction in patients with OSA. The sensitivity and specificity of the MES were similar to those of the MoCA-BJ. The MES-5R and total MES scores can assess the presence and severity of cognitive impairment in patients with severe OSA.

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