Repeated use of the drug popularly known as "ecstasy" significantly raises the risk of developing sleep apnea in otherwise healthy young adults with no other known risk factors for the sleep disturbance, a new study by Johns Hopkins scientists suggests. The finding is the latest highlighting the potential dangers of the amphetamine-style chemical, currently used illegally by millions of people in the United States. The Johns Hopkins scientists note that sleep apnea itself can lead to an assortment of health problems, including a decline in cognitive function, an increased risk of diabetes, and an increased risk of death from heart disease.
It is estimated that almost 2 million kids in the United States alone suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and may require continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. This number has increased more than 10 times in the last 30 years, thanks mainly to the nation's obesity epidemic. However, pediatric OSA appears to be an underserved and misunderstood market, reports the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). That's because primary care physicians often misdiagnose daytime sleepiness as related to bedwetting, nightmares or some other common childhood issue - not OSA. That is expected to change as physicians become more aware of OSA in children and there will be a bigger need for comfortable treatment methods.
The rate of babies being placed on their backs to sleep-a sleep position associated with a dramatic decrease in the risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)-has reached a plateau since 2001, according to a report in the December issue of Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, one of the JAMA/Archives journals. In addition, racial disparities remain in infant sleeping position. SIDS is a leading cause of infant death, according to background information in the article. The Back to Sleep campaign, launched in 1994, encouraged parents to place infants to sleep in the supine position (on their backs) and was associated with a dramatic decrease in the SIDS rate.
Somaxon Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (Nasdaq: SOMX), a specialty pharmaceutical company focused on the in-licensing, development and commercialization of proprietary branded pharmaceutical products and late-stage product candidates for the treatment of diseases and disorders in the central nervous system therapeutic area, announced that the company has received a Complete Response Letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for its New Drug Application (NDA) for Silenor® (doxepin) for the treatment of insomnia. Based on its review, the FDA has determined that the NDA cannot be approved in its present form. Somaxon previously received a Complete Response Letter for the NDA in February 2009, and it resubmitted the NDA in June 2009.
Holiday time is upon us, and with it comes family trips, household visitors, home decorating chores, party planning, gift-shopping and -- of course -- all those extra bills to pay. All of this added stress can lead to sleepless nights, but it doesn't have to. SleepBetter.org, one of the premier sites on the web for sleep advice, is offering a series of tips to help ensure that holiday stress doesn't keep you from getting a good night's rest. According to well-known sleep expert and contributor to SleepBetter.org, Michael J. Breus, Ph.D, "Stress of any kind is a proven cause of sleep disorders and interrupted sleep patterns." "Your health is your most important asset and it takes good quality sleep to maintain it, " adds Breus.
Researchers at the University of Chicago have discovered a technique that is able to determine whether a child has obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) or habitual snoring by screening their urine. "These findings open up the possibility of developing a relatively simple urine test that could detect OSA in snoring children. This would alleviate the need for costly and inconvenient sleep studies in children who snore, only about 20 to 30 percent of whom actually have OSA, " said lead author David Gozal, M.D., professor and chairman of the pediatrics department at the University of Chicago. The study results are published in the December 15 issue of the American Thoracic Society's American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.