Research underway to give sleep apnea sufferers relief and rest
For some, a full night’s rest can be anything but restful. That’s because they have sleep apnea, which causes them to struggle for breath in bouts throughout the night. Six percent of the population is affected by the condition—but many don’t even know they have it.
“They don’t make the connection between the fact that they snore loudly at night and they complain about being tired during the day,” says Samuel Krachman, D.O. , professor of medicine and director of the Sleep Disorders Center at Temple University School of Medicine and Hospital. “They think that they’re just tired, not getting enough sleep or just working too hard. But in reality, it’s related to the sleep apnea.”
Krachman is leading research on an experimental device to help patients who suffer from positional sleep apnea. Positional sleep apnea refers to patients who have episodes where they stop breathing when they’re on their back, but when they are on their side, the abnormal breathing resolves. Fifty percent of patients with mild sleep apnea (those who experience anywhere from five to 15 events an hour) and 20 percent of people with moderate sleep apnea (15 to 30 events an hour) have positional sleep apnea. Krachman explains how wearing the device, called Zzoma, works to reduce those episodes.
“Zzoma is a device which is worn around the chest area like a belt, with a device on the back, which is a firm, foam material wrapped in canvas to keep them from moving on their backs. Over the last year, we’ve been studying its use in treating patients with mild to moderate positional sleep apnea.”
The device was created by former Temple Fellow Joseph G. Crocetti. He and Krachman have worked together to treat positional sleep apnea. Their research has shown that the Zzoma device is less obtrusive and easier to use than the leading alternative, a continuous positive airway pressure machine or CPAP, a mask that blows air on a person’s face to keep the airway open.
“Although CPAP is very effective, the best studies have shown it’s only used correctly 50 percent of the time,” says Krachman. “That leaves many diagnosed with sleep apnea but not treated.”
Untreated sleep apnea can lead to a host of other medical problems. Just having sleep apnea is an independent risk factor for developing high blood pressure, coronary disease and heart failure. That’s why Krachman hopes the FDA approves Zzoma to treat positional sleep apnea, to give sufferers an effective alternative to the burden of CPAP.
For more information on the Temple Sleep Disorders Center, call 215-707-8163.
Megan Chiplock | EurekAlert!
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
New technique promises tunable laser devices
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...