UK researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) appears to be characterized by endothelial dysfunction and impaired myocardial perfusion and that these abnormalities can be reversed by continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) treatment.

Using myocardial contrast echocardiography, Dr Mehmood Butt (University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences, UK) and colleagues assessed the myocardial perfusion of 36 otherwise healthy sleep-apnea patients and compared the findings with those from 36 hypertensive subjects and 36 healthy individuals. They also measured endothelial function using a variety of techniques, they report online July 11, 2011 in Hypertension.

Those with OSA and hypertension had abnormal myocardial perfusion (p<0.001 for both comparisons), attenuated brachial artery reactivity (p<0.001), and cutaneous perfusion responses (p<0.001) compared with the healthy subjects, but they showed significant improvements in all of these parameters after 26 weeks of CPAP therapy.

Because this was an open study and all the sleep-apnea patients received CPAP, proper randomized studies will be needed to confirm the benefit of this intervention on the endothelium, says senior author Dr Gregory Lip (University of Birmingham Centre for Cardiovascular Sciences).

But he hopes the work will bring greater awareness of the relationship between sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease. “The condition can be treated, and it is important that clinicians look out for it,” Lip comments in an AHA statement.

SomnoMed, Inc., the global leader in oral sleep appliance technology, will host a two-day educational course Aug. 5-6 in Chicago to help dentists successfully implement Dental Sleep Medicine within their practices.  The SomnoMed Academy course will introduce dentists to screening and treating patients with Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) through extensive educational and hands-on sessions designed to maximize the latest dental sleep medicine technologies and develop streamlined protocols.

Sleep issues are not new – in fact, the 2002 National Sleep Foundation (NSF) Sleep in America poll found that 74 percent of American adults are experiencing a sleeping problem a few nights a week or more, 39 percent  get less than seven hours of sleep each weeknight, and 37 percent are so sleepy during the day that it interferes with daily activities.

Sleep apnea, considered a sleeping disorder, affects tens of millions of Americans and is associated with obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, increased risk of heart attack, stroke, memory/performance problems, depression and higher accident rates. SomnoMed’s SomnoDent® is a custom-made oral device that positions the lower jaw slightly forward of its usual position. This has the effect of keeping the airway open, preventing snoring and treating the serious chronic condition of OSA.

SomnoDent is a unique solution for treating OSA that has unprecedented compliance rates among patients,” said Anthony White, vice president of marketing and SomnoMed Academy.  “We look forward to helping dentists introduce this solution in their practices to help patients sleep better, which in turn creates an overall healthier lifestyle.”

Registration for SomnoMed Academy is limited, and participants who reserve their seat before July 15 will receive a free demonstration model.  For more information about SomnoMed Academy, visit http://www.somnomed.com.

New research that was presented at the 20th Anniversary Meeting of  the American Academy of  Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM) in Minneapolis quantified the efficacy  of mandibular advancement splints (MAS) using a self-administered,  at-home device to monitor snoring and sleep-disordered breathing.

The current study used the Sonomat, a portable, unobtrusive device  that has sensors contained within a mattress overlay. These sensors  measure apnea hypopnea index (AHI) by detecting and recording snoring,  breathing, and body movements.

Results show that MAS treatment reduced the average AHI from 10.3  events per hour to 3.8 events per hour. The respiratory event movement  index (RMI), which records more types of events than AHI, was reduced  from 15.9 events per hour to 7.6 events per hour. Read the rest of this entry

Sleep Group Solutions, North Miami Beach, Fla, is offering an introduction to dental sleep medicine course in August at several locations in the United States. The course is designed to teach orthodontists and their staff how to begin implementing new screening, diagnosis, and treatment protocols for patients suffering from sleep apnea.

The course features 2 full days of instruction and hands-on experience. Attendees will have the opportunity to take diagnostic records, work with permanent and temporary oral appliances, and undergo a full 8-channel Embletta X100 portable sleep study and view the results the next day.

The course is available August 19 to 20 in Boston and August 26 to 27 in Burbank, Calif.

The diagnosis and treatment of sleep disorders have come a long way in recent years. In the past, people who snored might be advised to sew a tennis ball onto the back of their pajama top. The “snore ball” would discourage them from sleeping on their back and might quiet their droning. Or a doctor might use the “dog index” to measure poor sleep: If your dog generally sleeps with you but by morning has left the bed more than half the time, it may be because you’re such a loud, restless sleeper that the dog has gone elsewhere for some peace and quiet.

How things have changed. Now, doctors with special training diagnose and treat more than 80 sleep disorders – from obstructive sleep apnea to narcolepsy – at special centers with labs where a patient’s every sleeping moment may be recorded and measured. Read the rest of this entry

One-fifth of all patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension suffer with the fatal disease for more than two years before being correctly diagnosed and properly treated, according to a new national study led by researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

“For a lot of patients, that means the treatment is more difficult and the damage is irreversible,” said Lynnette Brown, MD, PhD, a pulmonologist and researcher at Intermountain Medical Center and lead author of the study, which is published this week in the July issue of Chest, the journal of the American College of Chest Physicians.

“Finding out which patients are getting a delayed diagnosis is the first step in identifying them earlier, when treatment is easier and hopefully more effective,” she said. Read the rest of this entry

The Perfect Pillow For Sleeping Problems

The perfect pillow is the pillow that suits you best’ is the new launch statement for an Australian company that has a developed a unique way of selecting the perfect pillow. No longer is it a guess as to which pillow suits you perfectly and they guarantee it 100%.

Sleeping problems are now recognised as one of the greatest health issue  facing us today with the rise in snoring, sleep apnea and insomnia increasing at an alarming rate. Sleeping is often taken for granted until it no longer happens and an Australian company is doing its part in helping people develop a comfortable sleeping pattern.

Pillows Made to Measure is a company that specialises in pillows and was founded by Dr Andrew Macfarlane D.C, D.O. a Chiropractor and Osteopath with over thirty years of clinical experience dealing with patient’s trying to find the perfect pillow. Read the rest of this entry

Impaired brachial flow-mediated dilation (FMD) is associated with risk for subsequent cardiovascular events in patients after myocardial infarction (MI). These patients often have obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). We tested the hypothesis that patients with OSA post MI will exhibit more severe impairment in FMD.

The researchers studied 64 patients with MI admitted to our hospital. Obstructive sleep apnea was determined using polysomnography. FMD was measured using high-resolution ultrasonography, with researchers blind to the obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) diagnosis.

The mean age was 60 ± 11 years, and the mean BMI was 29 (26, 32 kg/m2), 84% of patients were men, 39% had moderate to severe OSA (apnea-hypopnea index [AHI] > 15), and 31% of the patients had  mild OSA (5 ? AHI < 15). FMD was severely impaired in patients with moderate to severe OSA (0.8% ± 0.7%) as compared with patients without OSA (4.7% ± 0.8%, P = .001) and with mild OSA (3.9% ± 0.8%, P = .015). Linear regression showed that FMD was associated with log nocturnal nadir oxygen saturation (minSao2) (? = 31.17, P = .0001), age (? = ?0.11, P = .006). MinSao2 was an independent predictor of FMD after adjustment for possible confounders (? = 26.15, P = .001).

FMD is severely impaired in patients with moderate to severe OSA post MI, which may be partially related to nocturnal hypoxemia. Patients with  obstructive sleep apnea may, therefore, be at higher risk for subsequent cardiovascular events after an MI. Identifying and treating   obstructive sleep apnea may have important implications in the long-term prognosis of patients post MI. Further studies are necessary to determine if the presence of OSA would affect the long-term occurrence of cardiovascular events after an MI.

How A Sleep Center Diagnose Sleep Apnea

Fragmented sleep, loud snoring, debilitating daytime fatigue, low oxygen levels, missed work days, morning headaches and problems remembering and concentrating are among the symptoms of sleep apnea disorder, the most common sleep disorder.

According to estimates there are more than 18 million Americans suffer from the deadly disorder called sleep apnea.

One of the first steps is generally to undergo an overnight sleep evaluation, or “nocturnal polysomnogram.” It is commonly known as overnight sleep study at the sleep center.

Patients spend one night in a special laboratory or a bedroom hooked up to sophisticated computer equipment that monitors heart, lung and brain activity; breathing patterns; arm and leg movements; and blood oxygen levels. The room generally includes soft lighting; a comfortable bed; a quiet, calming atmosphere; television; and other amenities to help the patient sleep.

In some cases, a portable home monitoring device can also be used to track heart rate, blood oxygen level, airflow and breathing patterns. Unfortunately, however, it does not always provide the most effective readings. An overnight, in-center polysomnogram may still be needed.

SomnoMed At SLEEP 2011 in Minneapolis

The annual conference SLEEP 2011 was held this year in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Every year it is the world’s most important SLEEP Dental and SLEEP Medical event. This year over 800 delegates attended the dental sleep conference of the AADSM (American Association of Dental Sleep Medicine) and more than 5,000 delegates joined the medical sleep conference of the APSS (Associated Professional Sleep Societies).

SomnoMed had a strong presence in both events and reported the highest number of leads and  professional contacts on record. It was a very successful event and again underlined the increasing recognition of SomnoMed as the world’s leading company in the Dental Sleep Medical field. Read the rest of this entry

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