Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

First Effective Drug For Sleep Disorder Identified

Date:
June 5, 2003
Source:
University Of Illinois At Chicago
Summary:
In a clinical trial conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have demonstrated the first promising drug treatment for a common and life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea.

In a clinical trial conducted at the University of Illinois at Chicago, researchers have demonstrated the first promising drug treatment for a common and life-threatening sleep disorder called sleep apnea. The drug, an antidepressant called mirtazapine, significantly reduced the symptoms of sleep apnea. It cut in half the number of times breathing stopped or slowed during sleep and reduced the number of times sleep was disrupted by 28 percent. All 12 patients who participated in the study showed improvement.

"The drug provided the largest benefit and the most consistent improvement of any pharmaceutical therapy tested in controlled studies to date," said David Carley, professor of medicine, pharmacology and bioengineering and director of research at the UIC Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders.

The results of the trial will be presented this week at the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies in Chicago by Carley and co-investigator Dr. Miodrag Radulovacki, professor of pharmacology and medicine at UIC.

"This has real clinical significance," said Radulovacki. "An estimated 15-20 million people in the United States suffer from sleep apnea, yet there is currently no cure and no fully effective long-term treatment for the disorder."

Apnea -- which means "without breath" -- is diagnosed when a person periodically stops breathing for 10 seconds or more or has episodes of reduced breathing during sleep. People suffering from sleep apnea may stop breathing hundreds of times a night, often for a minute or longer. The disorder is associated with increased risk of high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke and adult-onset diabetes. Behavioral problems and cognitive impairments can occur due to insufficient rest.

At present, sleep apnea is treated with mechanical devices, most often masks or nasal prongs, that maintain a continuous positive airway pressure. Such devices are uncomfortable, however, and difficult to use long-term.

The 12 patients in the UIC study were between the ages of 20 and 70. They received one of two dosages of mirtazapine or a placebo an hour before bedtime. They were monitored throughout the night in the UIC Center for Sleep and Ventilatory Disorders after each of three seven-day treatment periods.

The clinical trial at UIC followed years of laboratory tests of several classes of medications on a strain of rats that exhibit sleep apneas similar to the human disorder. Mirtazapine showed the most promise; other drugs either improved the condition only marginally or made it worse.

Mirtazapine blocks the activity of a chemical in the nervous system called serotonin that is involved in regulating mood, emotion, appetite and sleep.

The UIC study was funded by NV Organon, which markets mirtazapine as Remeron for the treatment of depression.

Mirtazapine has not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of sleep apnea. Its use in this trial was approved by a UIC institutional review board for experimental purposes only.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Illinois At Chicago. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois At Chicago. "First Effective Drug For Sleep Disorder Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 June 2003. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030605081837.htm>.
University Of Illinois At Chicago. (2003, June 5). First Effective Drug For Sleep Disorder Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030605081837.htm
University Of Illinois At Chicago. "First Effective Drug For Sleep Disorder Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030605081837.htm (accessed April 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, April 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

Obama: 8 Million Healthcare Signups

AP (Apr. 17, 2014) President Barack Obama gave a briefing Thursday announcing 8 million people have signed up under the Affordable Care Act. He blasted continued Republican efforts to repeal the law. (April 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Is Apathy A Sign Of A Shrinking Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) A recent study links apathetic feelings to a smaller brain. Researchers say the results indicate a need for apathy screening for at-risk seniors. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Could Even Casual Marijuana Use Alter Your Brain?

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A new study conducted by researchers at Northwestern and Harvard suggests even casual marijuana use can alter your brain. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Thousands Of Vials Of SARS Virus Go Missing

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) A research institute in Paris somehow misplaced more than 2,000 vials of the deadly SARS virus. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins