Emerging Treatment Approaches and Medical Devices for Obstructive Sleep Apnea: Kin Yuen, MD, MS


The sleep medicine specialist at the University of California, San Francisco provided perspective on some of the innovative therapeutic strategies in development for patients with obstructive sleep apnea. [WATCH TIME: 5 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 5 minutes

"Along the lines of hypoglossal nerve stimulators, and some of the external stimulators for the same regions, those are very exciting as well. I think there’s going to be a myriad of different treatment options available on the horizon. We used to say treatment for severe sleep apnea can be CPAP forever; however, nowadays, it’s not a life sentence anymore."

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), the most common sleep-related breathing disorder, can affect as many as one-fourth of people age 30 to 70, with recent literature suggesting an increase in prevalence. Patients with the condition will often display signs of excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring, waking during the night, morning headaches, and mood changes. Therapeutic options for OSA typically include positive airway pressure (PAP) and alternatives such as behavioral interventions, oral appliances, nasal expiratory positive airway pressure, negative pressure interventions, and surgical procedures.

There have been several unique presentations at the 2024 SLEEP Annual Meeting, held June 1-5, in Houston, Texas, on advancing the treatment of OSA, including identifying some of the sex-specific differences, CPAP adherence in women, and diagnosing the condition in hospitalized settings. Throughout the meeting, sleep specialists have also continued to have discussions regarding patients with OSA who may have been impacted by the 2021 recall of Phillips Respironics CPAP and BiPAP machines, which affected nearly 15 million devices worldwide.

Kin M. Yuen, MD, MS, a sleep medicine specialist at the University of California San Francisco, foresees some major changes to the treatment paradigm for OSA, noting several emerging, innovative approaches on the horizon. Yuen, who also serves on the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s (AASM) Advocacy Committee, sat down with NeurologyLive® at the meeting to discuss some of these approaches, including the use of hypoglossal nerve stimulators and GLP1 agonists. She spoke about the advances in diagnosing the condition, as well as how technology may play a role in identifying at-risk patients. Furthermore, she gave thoughts on the 2021 Phillips recall, and some of the critical questions physicians face with patients impacted by that decision.

Click here for more coverage of SLEEP 2024.

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