September 28, 2020

People With 1 Kind of Epilepsy Have Higher Sleep Apnea Risk

Article, published in Futurity

People with generalized epilepsy who have seizures arising from both sides of the brain simultaneously have a higher risk of obstructive sleep apnea than patients who have focal epilepsy where seizures emanate from one area of the brain, according to a new study.

The findings will help physicians better understand who is most at risk for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and therefore, who will benefit most from treatment. Treatment of OSA may help patients feel better and maintain better health. OSA treatment may also be an important part of epilepsy treatment.

“OSA is common in patients with epilepsy and treatment may improve seizure control. However, this condition is often undiagnosed in patients with epilepsy, and understanding of the risk profile for OSA is important,” says Matthew Scharf, an assistant professor of medicine and neurology at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and lead author of the paper in Epilepsy & Behavior.