Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tongue pacemaker for snoring successfully implanted

Date:
August 14, 2012
Source:
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Summary:
The first tongue pacemaker was implanted Europe-wide that prevents pauses in breathing during sleep and helps protect against snoring. Physicians used the device for a patient who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. In this, at times life-threatening illness, pauses in breathing can occur when the upper throat muscles are excessively relaxed during sleep. As a result, parts of the respiratory tract narrow and the person has difficulty breathing. The typical snoring noises occur when the affected person tries with great effort to get air through the blocked airways.

At Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin the first tongue pacemaker was implanted Europe-wide that prevents pauses in breathing during sleep and helps protects against snoring. Physicians at the Department of Otolaryngology used the device for a patient who suffers from obstructive sleep apnea syndrome. In this, at times life-threatening illness, pauses in breathing can occur when the upper throat muscles are excessively relaxed during sleep. As a result, parts of the respiratory tract narrow and the person has difficulty breathing. The typical snoring noises occur when the affected person tries with great effort to get air through the blocked airways.

The neurostimulator is somewhat smaller than a box of matches and is implanted, like a heart pacemaker, underneath the collarbone. From there, an ultrathin cable leads to the bottom edge of the ribcage where diaphragm movement is measured and individual breathing frequency is monitored. When the patient inhales and his diaphragm contracts, the pacemaker sends a weak electrical impulse via a second cable to the hypoglossal nerve. This nerve is located directly under the tongue and is responsible for contraction of the tongue muscle. When it is stimulated, the tongue does not relax and block the airway, but stays in the sleeping person's uppermost part of the pharynx, i.e. in his mouth. Thus life-threatening pauses in breathing are prevented.

Somnologist and sleep researcher Dr. Alexander Blau emphasizes that the neurostimulator is a significant step in treating sleep apnea. Compared to previous therapies using special breathing masks, the patients' nocturnal movements are no longer restricted. "The patient has regained a piece of his quality of life. Before he goes to bed, he can simply turn on the device with a small remote control." Dr. Blau is confident that further implantations will be just as successful.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Tongue pacemaker for snoring successfully implanted." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814100217.htm>.
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. (2012, August 14). Tongue pacemaker for snoring successfully implanted. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814100217.htm
Charité - Universitätsmedizin Berlin. "Tongue pacemaker for snoring successfully implanted." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120814100217.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Formerly Conjoined Twins Released From Dallas Hospital

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — Conjoined twins Emmett and Owen Ezell were separated by doctors in August. Now, nearly nine months later, they're being released from the hospital. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) — The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. 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