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 Collagen nanofibrils in mammalian tissues get stronger with exercise
14.12.2018 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

nachricht New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule
12.12.2018 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

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: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

When a fish becomes fluid

17.12.2018 | Studies and Analyses

Progress in Super-Resolution Microscopy

17.12.2018 | Life Sciences

How electric heating could save CO2 emissions

17.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>