Obstructive sleep apnea during REM sleep and daytime cerebral functioning : a regional cerebral blood flow study using high-resolution SPECT
Article [Accepted Manuscript]
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) predominantly during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep may have impacts on brain health, even in milder OSA cases. Here, we evaluated whether REM sleep OSA is associated with abnormal daytime cerebral functioning using high-resolution single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT). We tested 96 subjects (25 F, age: 65.2 ± 6.4) with a wide range of OSA severity from no OSA to severe OSA (apnea–hypopnea index: 0–97 events/h). More respiratory events during REM sleep were associated with reduced daytime regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) in the bilateral ventromedial prefrontal cortex and in the right insula extending to the frontal cortex. More respiratory events during non-REM (NREM) sleep were associated with reduced daytime rCBF in the left sensorimotor and temporal cortex. In subjects with a lower overall OSA severity (apnea–hypopnea index<15), more respiratory events during REM sleep were also associated with reduced daytime rCBF in the insula and extending to the frontal cortex. Respiratory events that characterized OSA during NREM versus REM sleep are associated with distinct patterns of daytime cerebral perfusion. REM sleep OSA could be more detrimental to brain health, as evidenced by reduced daytime rCBF in milder forms of OSA.