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New England Journal of Medicine Study Finds Upper-Airway Electronic Stimulation Effective for Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Date:1/8/2014

CLEVELAND, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Results published in a new study in the Jan. 9 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine report that mild electronic stimulation therapy to the upper airway during sleep is effective in reducing obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).

In the Stimulation Therapy for Apnea Reduction (The STAR Trial) study, researchers tested an implantable electronic stimulation device called Inspire™ Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) therapy, designed to significantly reduce the burden of obstructive sleep apnea by delivering stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve timed to each breathing cycle. The mild stimulation is intended to restore tone during sleep to the muscles that control the base of tongue, preventing the tongue from collapsing and obstructing the airway during sleep. 

"This device is a first-of-its-kind therapy and has the potential to help the many people suffering from moderate to severe sleep apnea who are unable to use or cannot tolerate CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure)," said Kingman Strohl, MD, senior author of the study and pulmonologist at University Hospitals Case Medical Center and Professor of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. "At a year following surgical implantation, patients experienced substantial decreases in the number of interruptions of sleep by apnea, and improvements in symptoms of waketime sleepiness, snoring and quality of life."  Lead author is Patrick J. Strollo, MD, of the Division of Pulmonary Allergy and Critical Care Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

The Phase III safety and efficacy study was conducted at multiple American and European clinical sites.  There were 126 participants, 83 percent of whom were me
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SOURCE University Hospitals Case Medical Center
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