Effects of CPAP on Language Recovery in Post-Stroke Aphasia: A Review of Recent Literature

Eve Mercer, Eleanor Sherfey, Candice Ogbu, Ellyn A. Riley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Obstructive sleep apnea is highly prevalent in the post-stroke population, and has been shown to affect cognitive, neurological, and functional status. Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment is one of the most effective interventions for obstructive sleep apnea, but compli-ance is often low due to confounding effects of co-occurring conditions, side effects of treatment titration procedures, and individual patient personality characteristics, perceptions, and social fac-tors. Current research suggests that CPAP treatment for obstructive sleep apnea is not associated with significant risk and can subsequently improve post-stroke motor and neurocognitive function. However, effects of CPAP treatment on post-stroke speech and language recovery remain unclear. Post-stroke communication disorders (e.g., aphasia, dysarthria, and apraxia) are also highly prevalent in this population. Knowledge of the potential positive impact of CPAP on language recovery could contribute to patients’ motivation to comply with CPAP treatment and provide incentive for speech-language pathologists to refer patients to sleep medicine specialists. In this review of the literature, we examine the question of what effect CPAP treatment may have on post-stroke speech and language function and recovery, as well as summarize the current knowledge on cognitive, neurological, and functional effects. While this review of the literature found CPAP to have varying effects on different cognitive domains, there was not sufficient evidence to determine effects on language recovery. Further research is necessary to determine the potential effects of CPAP treatment on speech and language recovery among stroke patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number379
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2022


  • Attention
  • CPAP
  • Cognition
  • Language
  • Memory
  • Sleep
  • Sleep disorders
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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