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Journal of Epilepsy and Clinical Neurophysiology

Print version ISSN 1676-2649


VENTURI, Monique; VALOIS, André; PONTES, Igor Monteiro  and  GOMES, Marleide da Mota. The relation between epilepsy and obstructive sleep apnea syndrome: review. J. epilepsy clin. neurophysiol. [online]. 2010, vol.16, n.1, pp.18-22. ISSN 1676-2649.

OBJECTIVES: Mainly to evaluate the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and seizure. METHODS: Search in the Pubmed from 2000 up to November 11, 2009, using the terms “Sleep Apnea, Obstructive” [Mesh Major Topic] and epilepsy [title/abstract]. Included too the International Classification of Sleep Disorders-2005. RESULTS: It was obtained 19 articles (one in German, excluded) being 1 review, 2 editorials, 5 case reports, 1 case series, 4 cross-sectional, 1 clinical pilot study, 2 longitudinal experimental without control, 1 longitudinal study with two polysomnographic estimations, 1 accuracy. CONCLUSION: The OSA is underreported in the pharmacoresistent epilepsy population and in daily excessive sleepiness patients (that can be consequence of the OSA) such as in that who will be submitted to the vagus nerve stimulation (may enhance OSA in patients with preexisting OSA) with the aim of seizure control. The data of this review raises the hypothesis that there is a important relationship between OSA and seizure, because some studies suggest the mutual relationship between the two factors in spite of not being statistically significant. In other hand, in a case report was hypothesized that the pathophysiology of OSA in patients with epilepsy may be impacted by frequent,extensive interictal epileptiform discharges or seizures altering upper airway control during sleep. This review also establishes the need of carrying out new studies with multivariate analysis and, ideally, prospective and with controls, with bigger sample size (observational/with intervention such as with CPAP) to define the studied relationship in better methodological basis.

Keywords : Epilepsy; obstructive sleep apnea; excessive daytime sleepiness.

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