Effects of initiation of continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy on EEG background activity were investigated in patients with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS, N = 25) to test possible reversibility of alterations of brain electrical activity caused by chronic hypoxia. Normal control group (N = 14) was also examined. Two EEG examinations were done in each groups: at night and in the next morning. Global and regional (left vs. right, anterior vs. posterior) measures of spatial complexity (Omega complexity) were used to characterize the degree of spatial synchrony of EEG. Low resolution electromagnetic tomography (LORETA) was used to localize generators of EEG activity in separate frequency bands. Before CPAP-treatment, a significantly lower Omega complexity was found globally and over the right hemisphere. Due to CPAP-treatment, these significant differences vanished. Significantly decreased Omega complexity was found in the anterior region after treatment. LORETA showed a decreased activity in all of the beta bands after therapy in the right hippocampus, premotor and temporo-parietal cortex, and bilaterally in the precuneus, paracentral and posterior cingulate cortex. No significant changes were seen in control group. Comparing controls and patients before sleep, an increased alpha2 band activity was seen bilaterally in the precuneus, paracentral and posterior cingulate cortex, while in the morning an increased beta3 band activity in the left precentral and bilateral premotor cortex and a decreased delta band activity in the right temporoparietal cortex and insula were observed. These findings indicate that effect of sleep on EEG background activity is different in OSAS patients and normal controls. In OSAS patients, significant changes lead to a more normal EEG after a night under CPAP-treatment. Compensatory alterations of brain electrical activity in regions associated with influencing sympathetic outflow, visuospatial abilities, long-term memory and motor performances caused by chronic hypoxia could be reversed by CPAP-therapy.
- Omega complexity
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
- Clinical Neurology