Background Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome (OSAS) can present with neurological symptoms. Treatment of underlying OSAS can improve neurological comorbidities like Parkinson’s, epilepsy and Alzheimer’s. Early identification of OSAS may explain and improve symptoms. The aim of this study was to identify the association between the diagnosis of OSAS and presenting symptoms like headaches, memory problems, seizures and vertigo.
Methods The medical records and polysomnography reports of 40 patients, newly diagnosed with OSAS by a consultant in a neurology outpatient clinic at a NHS district general hospital, were reviewed; the likelihood of OSAS explaining presenting symptoms was rated on a 1–4 scale.
Results 32 OSAS patients were included in the study (21 male and 11 female). 15 patients (46.8%) presented with headaches, 5 patients (15.6%) with memory problems, 5 patients (15.6%) suffered from (dissociative and epileptic) seizures and 1 patient (3.1%) suffered from vertigo. 10 patients (31%) newly diagnosed presented with none of these neurological symptoms. All 32 patients presented with at least one of the typical symptoms of OSAS for example daytime sleepiness, snoring, and witnessed apnoeas.
Conclusion Undiagnosed OSAS is likely common in neurology outpatients and often can explain presenting symptoms and can be a treatable co-morbidity.
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