What is Post Stroke Depression, and How does it Link to Sleep Apnea?

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People who experience sleep apnea are already at a higher risk for other health issues, including strokes. Recently, research has found a high correlation for those who have experienced a stroke and sleep apnea to also struggle with post-stroke depression symptoms. According to the studies conducted, people with severe sleep apnea were four times as likely to develop post-stroke depression symptoms than those without sleep issues. 

But, what exactly is post-stroke depression? It’s a serious symptom of a stroke that can occur in the early or late stages of recovery. The most common post-stroke depression symptoms include the following:  

  1. Irritability and restlessness 
  2. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions 
  3. Persistent sad and/or anxious moods 
  4. Decreased overall energy
  5. Thoughts of death or suicide 

Depression in stroke survivors is often linked to biochemical changes in the brain, causing the symptoms listed above. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to treat sleep apnea and stroke recovery. Research has also shown that treating those suffering from sleep apnea with sleep apnea treatments can reduce the threats of future strokes and even post-stroke depression symptoms. 

Sleep Apnea and Silent Strokes

Strokes and sleep apnea may be commonly known, but what about sleep apnea and silent strokes? Silent strokes affect a small portion of the brain but can be very dangerous and cause irreversible damage. Here’s what those with sleep apnea need to know about silent strokes: 

  • There are very few easily recognizable symptoms 
  • After one, you may experience a difficult time concentrating or remembering things 


The bottom line? The likelihood of suffering from silent strokes, regular strokes, and post-stroke depression can be reduced or prevented with regular sleep apnea treatment. Schedule an appointment with one of our sleep experts today and they can answer any questions you have!

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