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Innovative New Procedure For Sleep Apnea

Posted Jul 20 2010 12:39pm

If you have obstructive sleep apnea and can't use CPAP or oral appliances at all, and if you're afraid of all the surgical options out there, here's an innovative procedure that treats sleep apnea in a radically new way: by stimulating your tongue while you sleep. 

A small device (similar to a pacemaker) is placed in your chest, and a thin wire is connected to the nerve that goes to your tongue. There's another set of wires that senses when you're breathing in. So whenever you sleep at night, as your muscles begin to relax, it senses that you're breathing and pulses the nerve that goes to your tongue, called the hypoglossal nerve.

An initial trial in Australia is finished with good results so far, and I'm happy to announce that I'm part of the NY City team that will be taking part in the initial mullti-site US clinical trials. Entry criteria include not being able to tolerate CPAP, moderate obstructive sleep apnea (AHI between 20 and 100), BMI < 37, and age 21 to 70, amongst many others. If you're interested, please let me know. Here's a brochure from Apnex , for more information.

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