The neurocognitive disorder Alzheimer’s disease affects an estimated 5 million Americans. Its prevalence is expected to triple by 2060. People affected by Alzheimer’s disease have increasing problems with memory, judgement and doing daily tasks of living as the disease progresses. Various studies have indicated that obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is associated with an increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease and that people with OSA have increased levels of certain biomarkers (e.g., amyloid beta protein) associated with Alzheimer’s disease. Scientists have recently noted increased levels of biomarkers associated with Alzheimer’s disease in young children with OSA.
Every sleep professional knows that getting the right equipment (and getting it to work right) is crucial for any patient. Sometimes the companies that make durable medical equipment (or DMEs) are extremely helpful when working with patients, while others are not. We asked some of our members to explain their relationship working with DMEs, for better or for worse.
As a graduate student at the University of Chicago, I had the distinct pleasure to work with Allan Rechtschaffen. He famously said, “If sleep doesn’t serve an absolutely vital function, it is the biggest mistake evolution ever made.” But he was pessimistic that his research in sleep deprivation and the physiology of sleep would ever find that function.
Richard A. Bonato, PhD, RPSGT, is presenting the breakout session “The Role of Dental Devices in Sleep Medicine” at the AAST 2018 Annual Meeting, Sept. 28-30, 2018, in Indianapolis. We caught up with Dr. Bonato to discuss his background and the future of sleep medicine.
The advent of actigraphy in the 1990s made it possible to indirectly record a person’s sleep-wake cycles based on the person’s activity level, with increased activity indicating wakefulness and decreased activity indicating sleep. In actigraphy, a device — an actigraph — which is typically worn on the wrist, continually records movement data over a prolonged time — one week or more.
I try to start my blogs in a lighthearted way, but there is nothing lighthearted about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, more commonly known as ALS. ALS is a group of progressive diseases of upper and lower motor neurons, resulting in weakness of muscles. The course is often rapid, with most people dying from respiratory failure within three to five years from the onset of symptoms. Patients have difficulty breathing due to weakness of respiratory muscles. As the disease progresses, patients may require tracheostomy and ventilation. There is no known treatment.
Many people aren't getting the adequate amount of sleep required for their bodies to function properly. While some individuals just need more sleep because of family, social, or work obligations impacting their shut-eye, others may have an untreated sleep disorder that keeps them from getting good quality sleep each night.
I was fortunate enough to attend The World Sleep Congress, which took place October 7-11 in Prague, Czech Republic. As a joint Congress of the World Association of Sleep Medicine and World Sleep Federation, this conference delivered hundreds of lectures and poster abstracts that are important to the future of sleep technology and attracted thousands of clinicians.
Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) is clinically defined as an alteration in brain function, or other evidence of brain pathology caused by an external force. TBI may result from motor vehicle accidents, falling objects, assault, bomb blasts, etc. TBI is a leading cause of death and can cause lifelong disabilities in survivors. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1.6 to 3.2 million TBI’s are reported in the United States. Following the initial injury, patients may complain of headaches, nausea or vomiting, memory loss, mood changes, and difficulty with attention or concentration.
Can the emergence of a brand-new sleep disorder be a beautiful thing? In many ways, it can be inspiring, labor intensive, full of future possibilities … and usually quite messy!