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October 1984

[ill]othing New Under the Moon[ill]istorical Accounts of Sleep Apnea Syndrome

Author Affiliations

From the Sleep Laboratory, Unit of Behavioral Biology, Faculty of [ill]dicine, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. Dr Lavie [ill] a guest scientist in the Laboratory of Neurophysiology, Department of [ill]chiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, during the preparation of this [ill]ort.

Arch Intern Med. 1984;144(10):2025-2027. doi:10.1001/archinte.1984.04400010145023

• A systematic review of the 19th-century literature related [ill]sleep disorders revealed that patients with obstructive [ill]ep apnea were vividly described in the second half of the [ill]tury. Also, there were documented observations on the [ill]tage between airway obstructions and noisy snoring, noc[ill]nal insomnia, and excessive somnolence. The coining of [ill] term "pickwickian" to describe an obese somnolent pa[ill]t was made in 1889 during a clinical presentation of a [ill]ient with sleep apnea. Respiratory failure in sleep because "failure of the chest and diaphragmatic movements" was [ill]ned as a specific sleep disorder by Silas Weir Mitchell in [ill]0. The two main reasons for overlooking the sleep apnea [ill]drome for so long have been misdiagnosis of patients with [ill]ep apnea as having narcolepsy and skepticism regarding [ill] validity of excessive somnolence as a clinical sign.

Arch Intern Med 1984;144:2025-2028)