Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Another Oddity of Medical Science

From time to time, I post abstracts or excerpts that illustrate the fact that many aspects of medical science are not straightforward.  It has been known for a long time that there is a strong correlation between sleep disorders and mood disorders, as well as a less robust, but still significant, correlation between sleep disorders and anxiety disorders.  Furthermore, it has been observed that there is a nonlinear relationship between the severity of a sleep disorder as measured on objective tests, and the degree of dysfunction that a patient experiences.  There also is a nonlinear relationship between the improvement seen of objective tests after treatment, and the degree of improvement in a patient's daily function.  These demonstrations of nonlinearity indicate that there is something going on that we do not understand. 

Now, we see an indication that surgical treatment of sleep apnea can result in measurable improvements in anxiety and depression -- and the degree of psychiatric improvement is not strongly associated with the changes in objective tests.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story.