Sleep apnea could be culprit for treatment-resistant depression. A new study investigated the link between sleep apnea and depression.
Around 20–30% of people with depression do not receive proper treatment from existing therapies.
Latest research points obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) as a potential cause of treatment-resistant depression. The study notes that treating the sleep condition may ease symptoms of depression. Researchers have featured their study findings in The Journal of Psychiatric Research.
The first and corresponding author of the study Dr. William V. McCall said, “No one is talking about evaluating for OSA as a potential cause of treatment-resistant depression, which occurs in about 50% of people with major depressive disorder.”
For the findings, the researchers recruited 125 people with depression. The team wanted to investigate whether treating these patients’ insomnia could improve their depression symptoms. They removed people at risk of OSA including those who were taking sleeping pills, or people with obesity or restless legs syndrome.
The researchers found that of the 125 people, 17 had OSA and 52 had treatment resistant depression and 8 of these with treatment resistant depression also had OSA. Of 17 who had OSA, 6 were non-obese women. They also determined that conditions such as hypothyroidism, carotid artery disease cancer may be responsible for the treatment of resistant depression development.
“We know that if you have sleep apnea and get a CPAP machine, it gets better and now we know that there are hidden cases of sleep apnea in people who are depressed and have suicidal tendencies.”