New device being studied to help people sleep - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

New device being studied to help people sleep

Posted: Updated:
  • HealthMore>>

  • FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    FDA to propose e-cigarette regulations

    © FDA© FDA
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing long-awaited regulations governing the fast-growing electronic cigarette industry.More >>
  • People seek out health info when famous person dies

    People seek out health info when famous person dies

    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
    WEDNESDAY, April 23, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The deaths of well-known people offer an opportunity to educate the general public about disease detection and prevention, a new study suggests. Researchers surveyed 1,400 American men and women after Apple co-founder Steve Jobs died of pancreatic cancer in 2011 and learned that more than one-third of them sought information about his cause of death or information about cancer in general soon after his death was reported. About 7 percent of th...More >>
  • 1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    1 in 13 U.S. schoolkids takes psych meds

    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>
    More than 7 percent of American schoolchildren are taking at least one medication for emotional or behavioral difficulties, a new government report shows.More >>

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE)-  A new device for the treatment of sleep apnea is being studied across the country including one study site in Louisville. It's called the Apnex HGNS System.  

Dr. David Winslow is the Medical Director and Principal Investigator for Kentucky Research and with the help of Advanced ENT & Allergy's Dr. Andrew Gould to implant the device, he'll enroll 10 to 15 patients locally.

Here's how it works:  The implantable therapy is placed under the skin, much like a pacemaker. An electrode works with a patient's breath patterns to stimulate the nerve in the throat that controls the back of the tongue. Called the hypolglossal nerve, "it moves the tongue forward and opens up the lower airway " Dr. Winslow said, "and the lower part of the throat basically opens it up and cures sleep apnea in most cases."  

The device can be programmed to come on and shut off automatically, or the patient can also control the device through a remote control. While the device is on, the patient is unable to speak, so it's only used during the sleeping hours.

It may become a surgical option for people who've not found success using more traditional treatments like C-Pap.  

"People need to come to terms, am I at the point I want to consider a surgical procedure" Dr. Gould said, "it's not a simple thing. I think people need to be aware we're making several incisions although they're small, but we are placing electrodes on important nerves."  

In an initial study in Australia, the device appears to be quite promising. "In the original study they had around 36 patients," Dr. Winslow said, "and when it was all said and done almost every one of those patients were either cured or almost cured."

Bonnie Stark is the first patient in Louisville and across the country to get the implanted device activated. She's suffered with sleep apnea for 10 years and tried C-Pap without success.  

Left untreated, some studies point to increased risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Bonnie didn't hesitate to give the device a try. Within minutes of activating the device during Bonnie's sleep, years of sleep apnea induced snoring came to an end.

"The snoring got less and less and less and finally there was no snoring at all and her apnea went away. That was a big moment for me" described Winslow. 

Stark feels that finally getting treatment for this condition could prolong her life.   

It's an experimental treatment and is not without risks of infection and other complications.

To find out more about the study call 1-888-975-3370 or visit www.SleepApneaTrial.com.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News. All rights reserved.