"We were worried that nobody would take part in our
long, tedious protocol. However, he (JV) just brushed it off like it was
nothing", saying "A two millimeter wide catheter in the nose? What a joke compared to the feeding tubes I
‘Reduced or absent throat reflexes in tetraplegic patients may account for the high incidence of obstructive sleep apnea in these patients.’
"The experimental day was intense to say the least; six
people wheeled his bed up a steep slope to a test room about 100m away from the
main hospital. Somehow, we made it through the lengthy protocol together, and it was mostly
thanks to him, our first rock star patient! These participants gave us
confidence that this project was feasible, and in the future the data produced
will hopefully make their lives a tiny bit easier".
is Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA)?
Apnea means absence of breathing. Sleep apnea refers to
apneic episodes occurring when a person is asleep. In obstructive sleep apnea
breathing stops due to obstruction to air flow in the upper airway. When the
airway is narrowed with resultant restricted air flow, the person snores
(breathes through mouth). If however, the airflow is completely blocked,
breathing stops for about 10 seconds and resumes once again.
Persons suffering from OSA have impaired sleep and suffer
from excessive daytime drowsiness, irritability and inability to concentrate.
The most effective treatment for OSA is continuous positive
airway pressure (CPAP). The
slightly high air pressure keeps the throat open while the patient is breathing
and prevents blockage of the airway.
Despite the fact that the study was conducted in the wakeful
state and not during sleep, the scientists are optimistic that the findings of
their study would help future sleep physiology studies, as
well as in development of safe and effective targeted therapies for tetraplegic
patients with sleep apnea.
- Noradrenergic Activation of Hypoglossal Nucleus Modulates the Central Regulation of Genioglossus
in Chronic Intermittent Hypoxic Rats -