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This presentation gives the overview of the research conducted in finding out the relationship between sleep apnea syndrome and decision-making capability. The journal highlights that people with OSA syndrome are characterized by sleepiness, moodiness as well as well as executed deficits. The paper further suggests as results of these symptoms an individual is exposed to poor decision making. This explains why most accidents that occurs involve people suffering from OSA syndrome. The study used 20 patients suffering from OSA in the study to substantiate the proposed claims while ability to make decisions in an individual was assessed using Iowa Gambling Task. The paper further suggests that ability to make decisions is determined by the nature of orbitofrontal cortex. People who have their orbitofrontal cortex damaged make irrational decisions since they mostly consider the present rather than the future.
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In diagnosing the 20 patients the paper employed various studies to critically determine various aspects in the study. First the patients were subjected to overnight polysomnographic assessment to determine their baccal airflow, nasal pressure and respiratory capacity. These aspects were measured using standard methods such as electroencephalogram. To offer comparisons in data, a sample of 20 individuals who had no sleep disturbances were adopted. The patients were also assessed to ensure they were free from OSA syndrome. Also, to generate reliable comparisons other aspects such as age, education, gender and intelligence levels were also taken into considerations to create reliable comparisons.
The dependent variable in this study is the case under study which is decision making capability. This dependent variable is affected by independent variables such as gender, age. Air flow, nasal pressure, respiratory capacity, sleepiness, verbal frequency, education level, body mass index (weight), verbal frequency and level of anxiety in individual. The overall impact on decision making was adopted as the ability to make decisions. This variable was used to explain the extent to which one suffered OSA syndrome.
The study design is a cohort study in nature involving twenty subjects in each case. One major characteristic of a cohort study is that there are select individuals who are using as a sample experiment in the study and another sample which bears different and distinct characteristics. Also, digital substitution was conducted to standard neuropsychological assessment.
The study results indicate that, just like in previous studies where patients with OSR syndrome selected cards that represented severe disadvantages patients in this study too selected similar cards. 50% of the patients choose disadvantageously while 25% of the results indicated that the patient behaves normally. This implies that conscious knowledge of risk was not directed by IGT performance just like previous studies suggested. A variable such emotions indicate that experience determined the nature of choice an individual was making. Tests indicate that anticipatory responses are absent in OFC patients. This means that damage in this region affect the ability to make advantageous decisions. People who had REM sleep characteristics were found to be highly rated on the IGT scale suggesting that decision making is influenced by damages in these regions
The major weakness in this study is that it is difficult to establish whether the patients has undergone any neuroanatomical changes in the process of the study. Neither it is impossible to establish whether impaired decision making was part of their lives. The study should therefore consider using a more improved version of the cohort study such as the use of randomized control trial in the study. This minimizes possible occurrence of biases in the study by assigning one group of patients to an intervention and another to a non-intervention thus providing a basis for proper comparisons. The RCT method also reduces chances of cofounding in data collection process.
Daurat, A., Ricarrere, M., & Tiberge, M. (2013). Decision making is affected in obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome. Journal of Neuropsychology, 7(1), 139-144. doi:10.1111/j.17486653.2012.02039.x