Reena Mehra, MD, MS: Advances in Sleep Apnea Treatment Devices

May 5, 2020

The director of the Sleep Disorders Research Program at Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine detailed the advancements that have been made with OSA treatment devices.

“There are newer treatment modalities over the past few years that are coming to light. Upper airway neurostimulation is a novel treatment for obstructive sleep apnea, specifically for severe sleep apnea and those who have not been able to tolerate positive airway pressure.”

Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) has been the standard of care treatment for obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) for the past decade. Although effective, the device is connected to a tube that splints open all aspects of the airway and can be adjusted for pressure based on what the patient needs, which has driven some of the patient criticisms of the device that have, in turn, been linked to its poor adherence rates, probing the need for more treatments.

Reena Mehra, MD, MS, director, Sleep Disorders Research Program, Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine, told NeurologyLive that the number of treatments for OSA are growing, with many of them still in the testing stage. She mentioned upper airway neurostimulation as a relatively new treatment option but noted that so far it has only been available for patients with severe cases of OSA.

In this interview, Mehra gave an overview of the current landscape of sleep apnea treatments, detailed what is in the development pipeline, and discussed what potential impact these new options might have in the near future.