Careers  |  Sign In  |  Register

Chest Implant May Be Future of Sleep Apnea Therapy

Sleep apnea disrupts normal sleep by blocking airway pathways and obstructing breathing but, currently, the standard treatment involves an uncomfortable mask worn at night which 46 to 83 percent of sleep apnea patients do not wear diligently The New York Times’ Well blog reports. A new chest implant device, called a Neurostimulator, “stimulates a nerve in the jaw, helping to keep part of the upper airway open.” Findings published in NEJM showed that “patients experienced a decline in breathing pauses after using the device for a year, to 9 per hour on average, from 29.3 episodes per hour. The number of dangerous drops in blood oxygen levels also declined, to 7.4 per hour on average, from 25.4 per hour.” In phase 2 of the study, patients who had the device removed showed a rebound of obstructive breathing, suggesting that the device helped patients with sleep apnea.

Read it in The New York Times’ Well blog.

Read the study in NEJM.