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Research & Publications

Sleep Apnea and Snoring Research and Publications
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Snore No More: A Different Apnea Treatment

Dr. Sesso, Director of the Pennsylvania Snoring and Sleep Institute, discusses a clinical trial aimed at offering a long-term surgical solution to sleep apnea.  The Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation device offers an implantable device to treat sleep apnea.

Dr. Donald Sesso is aiming to provide sleep apnea patients with options other than CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and surgery. Dr. Sesso is researching Inspire Upper Airway Stimulation (UAS) treatment that leverages neurostimulation (the stimulation of the nervous system through tiny electric pulses) to permanently address sleep apnea without machines or surgery.

“We implant a small device that’s a stimulus to the hypoglossal nerve, and the hypoglossal nerve innervates or supplies movements to the tongue base,” Sesso said. “At nighttime, this device senses when the patient is taking a breath and then sends stimulation to the hypoglossal nerve, which in turn brings the tongue base forward, which clears the airway.”

“With CPAP, it is possible that [the patient's] positive pressure requirements may increase as they age, or the severity of their sleep apnea may change as they age," Sesso said. "So my concept  with this device is that for some patients, it is possible [UAS] can be the standalone single therapy where it makes their airway wider, and that’s all they need if they have a tongue base obstruction.” 

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