Intranasal corticosteroid therapy can improve symptoms in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome (OSAS), but what is the mechanism of action for that effect?

A group of researchers from the University of Chicago School of Medicine in Illinois may have at least part of the answer: intranasal corticosteroids inhibit secretion of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin 6 (IL-6).

“This reduction could contribute to the clinical efficacy of this class of medications in the treatment of childhood obstructive sleep apnea ” write Rania Esteitie, MD, from the Section of Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery, University of Chicago Medical Center, and colleagues in an article published in the June issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery.

To assess the effects of intranasal corticosteroids on inflammatory cytokines in adenoid tissues, the researchers conducted a randomized, prospective study of 24 children, aged 2 to 12 years, who were scheduled to undergo adenotonsillectomy for documented OSAS. Read the rest of this entry

The use of cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia to treat sleep  problems can reduce suicidal ideation, according to research presented  last week at SLEEP 2011,  the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep  Societies LLC, held in Minneapolis.

The findings show that about 21% of participants with insomnia—65 of  303 participants—reported having suicidal thoughts or wishes during the  past 2 weeks. Group cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia produced a  statistically significant post-treatment reduction in suicidal  ideation. Treatment sessions were conducted weekly until the final two  sessions, which were conducted bi-weekly.

According to the researchers, a growing body of evidence suggests  that self-reported insomnia and poor sleep quality constitute modifiable  risk factors for suicide. Sleep complaints are listed among the top  suicide warning signs by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service  Administration. No previous studies, however, had evaluated the impact  of a sleep intervention on suicidal ideation.

The study included 303 community outpatients between 18 and 88 years  of age who completed group cognitive-behavioral therapy for insomnia.  The Beck Depression Inventory, which includes a question about suicidal  thoughts or wishes, was administered at both baseline and  post-treatment.

A new study shows that people with primary insomnia may be able to  find relief by wearing a cap that cools the brain during sleep. The  findings were presented last week at SLEEP 2011, the 25th Anniversary Meeting of the  Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC, in Minneapolis.

According to the researchers, a reduction in metabolism in the  brain’s frontal cortex occurs while falling asleep and is associated  with restorative sleep. Insomnia, however, is associated with increased  metabolism in this same brain region. One way to reduce cerebral  metabolic activity is to use frontal cerebral thermal transfer to cool  the brain—a process known as “cerebral hypothermia.” Read the rest of this entry

Childhood obesity in North Carolina is at 33.5% according to the  National Conference of State Legislatures. Raleigh  weight loss problems mount as the state will pay $2.138 billion in annual  medical costs of obesity.

One in three children are overweight or obese. Childhood obesity has  increased over 300% in the past 30 years according to the CDC (Center for  Disease Control). Obesity among children aged 6 to 11 years increased from 6.5%  in 1980 to 19.6% in 2008. Obesity among adolescents aged 12 to 19 years  increased from 5.0% to 18.1% during the same time period.

The risk factors for obesity in children and adolescents are cardiovascular  disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure. To make matters worse, they are  at greater risk for bone and joint problems, sleep apnea and poor self-esteemOverweight and obese children are more likely to be overweight or obese in their  adult years. This increases their chances of developing heart disease, type 2  diabetes, stroke, cancer and osteoarthritis.

Knowing these facts; would one ever say to your overweight or obese child,  Sweetie, let’s go get some cheeseburgers, fries and a milk shake so later in  life it can result in a heart attack.

Negative Impact Factors For Teen Sleep

Gaming and Internet activity are more likely to have a negative  impact on self-reported teen sleep duration than watching television,  according to a study presented at the American Psychiatric  Association Annual Meeting.

Researchers analyzed data about media usage and physical activity  from the 2009 Youth Risk Behavioral Survey maintained by the Centers for  Disease Control and Prevention. The researchers found different types  of media exposure have different impact on self-reported teen sleep  patterns. Gaming and Internet usage negatively impacted reported sleep  time, while television had no impact, and physical activity improved  sleep time.

Inspire  Medical Systems, Minneapolis, recently announced that its STAR  (Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction) trial, evaluating both the  safety and effectiveness of Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS)  therapy in patients who suffer from moderate to severe obstructive sleep  apnea (OSA), is now under way at nine medical centers in the United  States and four sites in Europe. In addition, several OSA patients have  already been implanted with Inspire therapy in the STAR trial.

Sleep Medicine Associates of Texas completed their first implant of Inspire therapy in the STAR trial this  spring.

Inspire’s UAS therapy is an implantable therapy designed to deliver  physiologically timed, mild stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve on each  breathing cycle. The stimulation is intended to restore tone to the  muscles that control the base of the tongue, preventing the tongue from  collapsing and obstructing the airway. Inspire’s therapy does not  require removing or permanently altering a patient’s facial or airway  anatomy.

Sleep apnea is a deadly sleep disorder but it is quite a treatable disorder. According to the American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons, one in 15 adults has some form of sleep apneaSleep apnea is the interruption of breathing while sleeping caused by either an obstruction or a lack of brain impulse, and can be experienced by adults, teens, children and infants. Sleep apnea not only poses a health risk to the sufferer, it can be very concerning to loved ones. While the sufferer may be unaware, often partners sleep restlessly waiting for their next breath. A recent research study published in the journal “Sleep” found that poor sleep quality and developing brain damage caused by obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) could be responsible for a whole host of cognitive issues – from poor memory to heart agitation.

Taking up wind instruments may also help in improving upon the sleep apnea and snoring problems. That’s right. Music is good for the soul, and maybe even help you rest better. A trial study conducted in Germany proved playing the didgeridoo on a regular basis may help as an alternative treatment for people suffering from obstructive sleep apnea and snoring. Playing the didgeridoo may be an effective alternative, as the researchers explain, because learning to play trains “the muscles of the upper airways, which control airway dilation and wall stiffening.” The study was based on a controlled group of 25 moderately affected patients with OSA and found that these participants had less daytime sleepiness after playing the wind instrument developed by indigenous Australians. The participants practiced on average a half hour a day for six days a week over a period of four months. The group consisted mostly of men around 50 years old. They learned lip technique, circular breathing, and finally the complicated interaction between the lips, the vocal tract and circular breathing.

New Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Tool Developed

Two UB physicians have developed and patented a computerized screening tool that detects severe obstructive sleep apnea in cardiovascular patients.

The new neural network-based screening tool diagnoses sleep apnea based on a patient’s answers to questions about body mass index, neck size, the presence of hypertension and other clinical characteristics.

Between 30 and 50 percent of cardiovascular patients are believed to suffer from this potentially life-threatening condition, which prevents sufficient air from getting into the lungs. Many of them are undiagnosed.

In heart patients, obstructive sleep apnea can trigger,  heart attacks , atrial fibrillation and stroke. Read the rest of this entry

New Features Added To Transcend Travel CPAP

Transcend, the new wearable sleep apnea therapy device designed by Somnetics International Inc. to be the ultimate travel CPAP, now measures apnea-hypopnea index (AHI). While AHI measurement is not new to CPAPs, it is a new standard feature on Transcend thereby giving users added value at no additional cost.

Used to assess the severity of a patient’s sleep apnea, AHI is a numerical measure that accounts for the number of pauses in breathing per hour of sleep. Leak detection helps assess the appropriateness of the mask used by the patient. In measuring AHI and leak detection, Transcend also helps assess the efficacy of the patient’s pressure setting. Valuable to both patients and doctors, this information can be used to identify issues with the therapy and to determine how changes to the system setup affects overall treatment. Read the rest of this entry

Effective Treatment of Sleep Apnea Can Improve ED

Men with erectile dysfunction (ED) should be tested for the presence of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), according to researchers here at the American Urological Association (AUA) 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting.

The findings are from a study that examined the link between ED and OSA in 870 middle-aged men who were consecutively enrolled in the ongoing Law Enforcement Cardiac Screening Program, which is part of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program.

“The study is the largest to date to demonstrate an independent association between ED and OSA after controlling for known cardiovascular risk factors,” principal investigator Boback Berookhim, MD, MBA, urology resident at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York City, said. Read the rest of this entry

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