Daniel E Ehrmann, Bertram Pitt and Patricia J Deldin
Sleep-disordered breathing is common but under-diagnosed. This is concerning given the emerging empirical relationships between severe forms of sleep-disordered breathing, such as obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, and various forms of psychopathology including major depressive disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia and post-traumatic stress disorder. Inflammatory pathways may mediate part of the relationship between sleep-disordered breathing and psychopathology, but the strength and directionality of these processes and associations remains unknown. It may be appropriate to have a heightened index of suspicion for SDB and psychopathology in individuals at higher baseline risk for their co-morbidity. Further investigation in larger, longitudinal, well-controlled studies is needed to understand the relationship of SDB and psychopathology.