A new study has investigated the link between depression and sleep apnea. The results suggest that the latter may be a major reason for the failure of depression treatments. Nearly 20–30% people suffering from depression as well as other types of mood disorders fail to get the necessary help they require from existing methods of therapy.
Depression has now been acknowledged worldwide as one of the primary causes of disability. As a result, developing effective methods of therapy to counter it is extremely important. New research has pointed towards the obstructive form of sleep apnea, also termed as OSA, being a potential reason for depression being resistant to treatment. In fact, the study has also suggested that treating or screening for this particular sleep condition can actually alleviate depression symptoms.
Dr. William V. McCall, who is the chair of Health Behavior and Psychiatry Department at Georgia Medical College of Augusta University, has served as the first as well as the corresponding study author in this regard. According to him, the need to evaluate OSA as potential reason behind treatment resistant form of depression is not being given enough importance. Such cases have been found to happen to nearly 50% of the patients suffering from acute depressive disorders. He also expressed hope regarding the possible positive effect of his team’s brand new paper, which will be published in The Psychiatric Research Journal.
Dr. McCall, and his team, worked on rates of undiagnosed cases of OSA in one randomized clinic-based trial of individuals suffering from major depressive disorders as well as suicidal tendencies. The team recruited 125 individuals with depression, initially with the aim to determine whether treating their condition of insomnia might improve their symptoms of depression. After testing participants with sleep studies, the researchers found 17 patients out of 125 (which is nearly 14%) to have OSA.