Novel device for obstructive sleep apnea in Down Syndrome
Custom-fit oral device
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is marked by repetitive obstructions of the airway as muscle tone reduces during sleep. This team has created a custom-fit oral prosthesis with a pump that stabilizes the mouth muscles and prevents obstruction of the airway at night. The prosthesis could have a positive impact in particular on the Down Syndrome patient community, which has a high prevalence of OSA. Current treatments are cumbersome, uncomfortable, and disrupt the normal sleeping environment, leading to noncompliance among patients. Serious, long-term consequences associated with lack of treatment for OSA in Down Syndrome patients include impaired cognitive development, reduced independence, and cardiovascular disease. The team’s goal is to provide a therapy that is discreet, comfortable for regular use, and effective in reducing apnea episodes.