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neuroscienceCME - The Complexities of Managing Patients with Sleep-Wake Disorders: The Need to Treat the Whole Patient

By CME Outfitters

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Patients with sleep-wake disorders such as obstructive sleep apnea, shift work sleep disorder, and jet lag disorder are complex in their presentation and pose significant therapeutic challenges. Sleep-wake disorder patients often present with the symptom of excessive sleepiness and although highly prevalent and detrimental to the patient, society, and the healthcare system, excessive sleepiness remains under-recognized as well as not appropriately managed. Both patients and physicians often view sleepiness as a normal phenomenon; patients may not mention it, and if they do, physicians may not view it as a serious symptom in need of further attention. In part, the difficulty may arise from the fact that patients often do not complain of excessive sleepiness but instead may use terms like fatigue, tired, and lack of energy that may not raise clinical concern or may lead to misdiagnosis (e.g., depression) and inappropriate treatment. In some cases, patients may report problems with their memory or concentration, or automobile crashes. In fact, patients often do not mention anything at all unless some consequence has ensued, like an automobile crash. In this neuroscienceCME Live and On Demand activity, the expert faculty will examine the challenges of sleep-wake disorders from the primary care and sleep specialist perspective with the goal of providing tools for improved recognition, assessment, and coordinated care of the whole patient. This activity also includes a special "After the Show" segment during which the faculty answers additional audience questions in an informal Q&A session.