Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

First effective drug for sleep disorder identified

05.06.2003


In a clinical trial conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have demonstrated the first promising drug treatment for a common and life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea.



The drug, an antidepressant called mirtazapine, significantly reduced the symptoms of sleep apnea. It cut in half the number of times breathing stopped or slowed during sleep and reduced the number of times sleep was disrupted by 28 percent. All 12 patients who participated in the study showed improvement.

"The drug provided the largest benefit and the most consistent improvement of any pharmaceutical therapy tested in controlled studies to date," said David Carley, professor of medicine, pharmacology and bioengineering and director of research at the UIC Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders.


The results of the trial will be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Chicago by Carley and co-investigator Dr. Miodrag Radulovacki, professor of pharmacology and medicine at UIC.

"This has real clinical significance," said Radulovacki. "An estimated 15-20 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea, yet there is currently no cure and no fully effective long-term treatment for the disorder."

Apnea -- which means "without breath" -- is diagnosed when a person periodically stops breathing for 10 seconds or more or has episodes of reduced breathing during sleep. People suffering from sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times a night, often for a minute or longer. The disorder is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and adult-onset diabetes. Behavioral problems and cognitive impairments can occur due to insufficient rest.

At present, sleep apnea is treated with mechanical devices, most often masks or nasal prongs, that maintain a continuous positive airway pressure. Such devices are uncomfortable, however, and difficult to use long-term.

The 12 patients in the UIC study were between the ages of 20 and 70. They received one of two dosages of mirtazapine or a placebo an hour before bedtime. They were monitored throughout the night in the UIC Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders after each of three seven-day treatment periods.

The clinical trial at UIC followed years of laboratory tests of several classes of medications on a strain of rats that exhibit sleep apneas similar to the human disorder. Mirtazapine showed the most promise; other drugs either improved the condition only marginally or made it worse.

Mirtazapine blocks the activity of a chemical in the nervous system called serotonin that is involved in regulating mood, emotion, appetite and sleep.

The UIC study was funded by NV Organon, which markets mirtazapine as Remeron for the treatment of depression.

Mirtazapine has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of sleep apnea. Its use in this trial was approved by a UIC institutional review board for experimental purposes only.

Sharon Butler | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uic.edu/

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin
24.01.2017 | Carlos III University of Madrid

nachricht Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis
23.01.2017 | Massachusetts General Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Scientists spin artificial silk from whey protein

X-ray study throws light on key process for production

A Swedish-German team of researchers has cleared up a key process for the artificial production of silk. With the help of the intense X-rays from DESY's...

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Breaking the optical bandwidth record of stable pulsed lasers

24.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Choreographing the microRNA-target dance

24.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Spanish scientists create a 3-D bioprinter to print human skin

24.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>