Raman Malhotra, MD: What to Look Forward to in Sleep Medicine


The associate professor of neurology at Washington University in St. Louis discussed a number of recent advances in therapeutics, as well as diagnostic and measurement devices, in sleep medicine.

“We’ve never had [medications for obstructive sleep apnea] shown to be effective, and there are different combinations that will work to keep the airway a little more patent and open at nighttime, as an oral medication. That would be groundbreaking.”

Sleep specialists have long been waiting for a major step forward in the pharmacologic realm of therapeutic development, and in the last few years, a number of therapies have successfully made their way through the pipeline toward the market. Additionally, after years of challenges in acquiring sleep measurements and conducting sleep studies, new devices have offered a promising look for the future.

One such therapeutic advancement includes a possible successful agent for the treatment of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a widely common condition with an effective treatment—continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP)—that is plagued by adherence obstacles. For Raman Malhotra, MD, associate professor of neurology, Washington University in St. Louis, and board of directors, American Academy of Sleep Medicine, an oral agent to help these patients’ airways stay open would be a game-changer.

In this interview with NeurologyLive, Malhotra explored the potential of such a therapy, and detailed some of the advances he’s been looking forward to. In the diagnostic area, he touched on progress being made in allowing for better at-home sleep measures, done with contactless monitoring. He also shared some insight into the possibility of devices that can measure and deliver temperature and sound changes during the night, building on recent literature that suggests these interventions might have success.

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