Central sleep apnea syndrome

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Central Sleep Apnea Syndrome (CSAS) is a sleep disorder characterized by cessation of breathing during sleep due to a lack of respiratory effort. Unlike Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), where breathing is interrupted by physical blockage in the airway, CSAS occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the muscles that control breathing.

Causes[edit | edit source]

The primary cause of CSAS is a failure in the brain's control of the muscles involved in respiration. This can occur due to conditions that affect the brainstem, such as stroke, brain tumor, or neurodegenerative diseases. Other potential causes include certain medications, especially opioids, and conditions that lead to abnormal levels of carbon dioxide in the blood, such as congestive heart failure and kidney disease.

Symptoms[edit | edit source]

The main symptom of CSAS is intermittent pauses in breathing during sleep, which are often accompanied by snoring. Other symptoms may include frequent awakenings during the night, excessive daytime sleepiness, difficulty concentrating, and morning headaches. In severe cases, CSAS can lead to serious health complications, such as heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.

Diagnosis[edit | edit source]

Diagnosis of CSAS typically involves a sleep study, also known as a polysomnogram. This test records a variety of body functions during sleep, including brain activity, eye movement, heart rate, and blood pressure. A diagnosis of CSAS is made if there are five or more episodes of apnea or hypopnea per hour of sleep, along with symptoms such as daytime sleepiness or impaired cognition.

Treatment[edit | edit source]

Treatment for CSAS aims to treat the underlying cause, if possible, and to alleviate symptoms. This may involve medication, lifestyle changes, or the use of devices to assist with breathing during sleep, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. In severe cases, surgery may be considered.

See Also[edit | edit source]

Central sleep apnea syndrome Resources

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD