What looks like a pacemaker for the heart, may be the ticket for a good night’s sleep.  An experimental treatment for Obstructive Sleep Apnea is being tested at the Medical University of South Carolina, where doctors have performed one of only six surgeries in the United States, as part of a trial monitored by the Food and Drug Administration. The experimental treatment works by stimulating muscles to keep the airway from closing off.

Five percent of men and three percent of women in this country suffer Obstructive Sleep Apnea.  The numbers dramatically increase as people age.  People with Obstructive Sleep Apnea often snore loudly, don’t sleep well at night and feel tired during the day.  It can lead to depression, irritability and memory troubles. But it also has the long term risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and increased risk of automobile accidents.”

Most patients with this sleep disorder turn to CPAP or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure Treatment.  But the devices don’t always deliver a good night’s rest.

 With the new therapy, two small incisions: an electrode would be implanted on the nerve to the tongue, tunneled under the skin to the pacemaker device implanted under the skin in the chest; another lead would go to the chest muscles to detect breathing.  The patient would be able to turn on the stimulator at bedtime using a remote control.  The nerve is stimulated on his breathing cycle.  Patients would not feel the mild stimulation, but may feel their tongue move forward.

For those interested in taking part, you must have failed the CPAP treatment, and meet other qualifications.  There is no cost to patients who qualify.  For more information, call 1-888-708-5041 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting  1-888-708-5041   end_of_the_skype_highlighting.

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Filed under: Clinical ResearchClinical TrialsCPAPCPAP DeviceCPAP TherapyObstructive Sleep ApneaSleepSleep ApneaSleep Apnea DevicesSleep Apnea EventsSleep Apnea NewsSleep Apnea ResearchSleep Apnea TreatmentSleep DisordersSleep Problems

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