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Brain Implant Could Help Central Sleep Apnea Patients


Brain Implant Could Help Central Sleep Apnea Patients

Central sleep apnea is a terrifying disorder that affects over one-third of patients recovering from heart failure. A patient’s brain sometimes fails to send the signal to the body to breathe. However, implanting a small device similar to a pacemaker, seems to be effective in resetting the brain so that it is being constantly reminded to send the “breathe” signal during sleep.

At its worst, central sleep apnea can be deadly, but it also causes continued interrupted sleep and disturbed sleep patterns. The patient is normally awakened while disturbances occur, which places a lot of stress on the heart and vascular system.

Central sleep apnea differs from the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea – central sleep apnea is a result of the brain failing to send a signal to breathe while obstructive sleep apnea results from a collapse in the upper airway that blocks air from reaching the lungs, often a result of obesity. The same machines that treat obstructive sleep apnea are ineffective for people who have central sleep apnea.

Researchers developed the brain implant device along with Respicardia Inc. The device is implanted below the collarbone with a wire connecting it to the phrenic nerve, which carries the brain’s signal to breathe to the diaphragm. By sending a consistent signal to the nerve, consistent breath is generated.

During a study, 47 different patients with the condition were implanted with the device. Researchers at 11 clinics across the United States and Europe then monitored how they slept for the next 6 months. 76% of the patients reported that their sleep quality improved with the device. Only one patient reported feeling slightly worse, the others reported no change in their sleep quality. Researchers were also able to note an improvement to sleep disturbances for the patients, as a majority of the patients improved their sleep efficiency and percentage of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. In addition, the device reduced central sleep apnea events by 80%.

More testing is being done on the success of the brain implant device. If you or anyone you know stops breathing during sleep, wakes up with a dry mouth or sore throat, experiences morning headaches, has trouble paying attention throughout the day and/or has diabetes, obesity or any other health condition, it is advised that you get tested for sleep apnea.

Gallery Furniture encourages you to make an appointment with an authorized sleep clinic immediately. We want to see you live a full life with the benefits of great quality sleep!

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