Friday, April 26, 2013

New Research May Strengthen Link between Sleep Apnea, ADHD in Kids

Data from a long-term sleep apnea study seems to strengthen the link between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and behavior and learning problems in children.
A review of data from a sleep apnea study involving 263 children between the ages of 6 and 11 indicates that children with OSA may suffer from higher rates attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), many instances of which go undiagnosed. OSA and ADHD are often shared in children, and previous research has suggested that children with sleep apnea experience higher rates of behavior problems and learning disabilities.
The initial study, known as the Tucson Children’s Assessment of Sleep Apnea Study, found that 21 children demonstrated persistent sleep apnea while another 23 developed signs of sleep apnea during the study. A recent five-year follow-up with the participants revealed some good news: 41 of the children who presented with signs of sleep apnea no longer experienced breathing problems during sleep.
However, children who showed signs of sleep apnea during the study also had a higher rate of behavior and learning problems. The full findings of the research, which was led by an assistant professor at the University of Tucson, will be published in the April issue of the journal Sleep.
If your child—or any member of your family—snores regularly or has other symptoms of sleep apnea, a knowledgeable dentist may be able to help. There are a number of comfortable and effective sleep apnea treatments available.
Left untreated, OSA can lead to worsening problems, including an increased risk for severe health problems such as hypertension and heart attack.
If you would like to learn more about sleep apnea diagnosis and treatment, please contact Respiratory Solutions

Monday, April 15, 2013

National Sleep Apnea Awareness Day - April 18th, 2013

The American Sleep Apnea Association calls upon all who are concerned about sleep apnea-health professionals, patients, and their advocates-to make special efforts on April 18 to alert the public to this serious, chronic, life-shortening disease. An estimated 18 million Americans or more are believed to have this disease, and three-quarters of them don’t know it.

Untreated sleep apnea in adults can lead to hypertension, chronic heart failure, stroke, sudden death, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, excessive daytime sleepiness, and could cause automobile accidents, and other serious and often fatal consequences.

Untreated sleep apnea in children can lead to hyperactivity, compromised immune systems (allergies), delayed cognitive development, and an inability to meet standard growth goals.

“Every day is sleep apnea awareness day at the ASAA (American Sleep Apnea Association),” said executive director Edward Grandi, “but we designated April 18th as Sleep Apnea Awareness Day because we believe that educating people about sleep apnea’s dangers is critical.”

April 18, 1981 is the day The Lancet, the respected British medical journal, published a ground-breaking article describing the invention of the Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine by Dr. Colin Sullivan, an Australian respiratory physician and a professor of medicine at the University of Sydney.

“CPAP therapy revolutionized the treatment of sleep apnea,” Ed Grandi said.

Prior to Sullivan’s discovery, the only effective treatments for severe sleep apnea were, in some cases, radical weight loss or major surgery. The sleep world has come a long way with the modern transition from frightening procedures such as a tracheotomy to the current use of CPAP to help control breathing.

Sleep apnea’s most frequent form is obstructive sleep apnea when the sleeper’s tongue and soft palate fall back against the back of the throat closing off the airway so firmly that the sleeper doesn’t fully inhale in repeated episodes that last 10 seconds or longer. In severe sleep apnea patients, the episodes can recur hundreds of time during the night, giving rise to serious impairment due to repeated oxygen deficiency.

Since those early days of positive airway pressure therapy three decades ago, many refinements to the device have been introduced and there exist a variety of new therapies, with others in development.

None of the therapies, however, can help the 13 million-plus people who have sleep apnea and are unaware of their medical condition or don’t seek help early for themselves or their children. Symptoms may include regularly awakening exhausted after a full night’s sleep, snoring frequently or loudly, or being seriously overweight; however, some sufferers of sleep apnea have none of these characteristics. A sleep study conducted by qualified health care providers in a sleep laboratory or in the home bedroom is the only conclusive way to determine if a person has sleep apnea.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Treating sleep-disordered breathing in pregnancy may improve fetal health

DARIEN, IL – A new study suggests that treatment of mild sleep-disordered breathing with continuous positive airwaypressure (CPAP) therapy in pregnant women with preeclampsia improves fetal activity levels, a marker of fetal well-being.

Results show that the average number of fetal movements increased from 319 during a night without CPAP treatment to 592 during the subsequent night with CPAP therapy. During the course of the night without CPAP treatment, the number of fetal movements decreased steadily by 7.4 movements per hour. In contrast, the number of fetal movements increased by 12.6 per hour during the night with CPAP therapy.
"What would otherwise have been considered clinically unimportant or minor 'snoring' likely has major effects on the blood supply to the fetus, and that fetus in turn protects itself by reducing movements," said Colin Sullivan, PhD, the study's principal investigator. "This can be treated with readily available positive airway pressure therapy and suggests that measurement of fetal activity during a mother's sleep may be an important and practical method of assessing fetal well-being."

The three-part study, appearing in the January issue of the journal SLEEP, began with the validation of a fetal activity monitor against ultrasound in 20 normal, third-trimester pregnant women. The next phase of the study measured fetal movement overnight in 20 women with moderate to severe preeclampsia and 20 matched control subjects. Results show that the number of fetal movements during maternal sleep was significantly lower in the preeclampsia group (289) than the control group (689).

In the final phase of the study, fetal movement was measured on consecutive nights in 10 women with moderate to severe preeclampsia, the first night without treatment and the second night with nasal CPAP therapy. The women had mild sleep-disordered breathing with an apnea/hypopnea index of 7.0 breathing pauses per hour of sleep. A minimal mean CPAP pressure of 7 cm H2O was needed to eliminate upper airway obstruction and airflow limitation.

"Maternal SDB represents a unique opportunity to study the effect of in utero exposures on postnatal development and future risk. This has major implications for public health," Louise M. O'Brien, PhD, MS, associate professor at the University of Michigan, wrote in a commentary on the study. "It raises the possibility that a simple, noninvasive therapy for SDB may improve fetal well-being."

According to the authors, preeclampsia affects about five percent of pregnancies and is dangerous for the mother as well as a risk factor for fetal growth restriction. It involves the onset of high blood pressure and protein in the urine after the 20th week of pregnancy.