Game-changing nasal spray slashes sleep apnea severity by 70%

Sleep apnea, a common respiratory condition, disrupts breathing during sleep due to narrowed or collapsed airways.

Researchers in Australia have found that a nighttime nasal spray could help alleviate the severity of sleep apnea and decrease blood pressure levels. Sleep apnea, a common respiratory condition, disrupts breathing during sleep due to narrowed or collapsed airways, leading to frequent awakenings throughout the night.

Professor Danny Eckert from the College of Medicine and Public Health explains that sleep apnea is associated with various health issues such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, obesity, diabetes, anxiety, and depression.

Despite continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines being an effective treatment, many people struggle to tolerate them.

The study aimed to assess the impact of a new nasal spray containing a potassium channel blocker on sleep apnea severity. Lead author Dr. Amal Osman explains that potassium channel blockers enhance muscle activity in the upper airway, potentially preventing throat collapse during sleep.

In a randomized, blinded trial, ten individuals with sleep apnea were given either the potassium blocker nasal spray, a placebo spray, or the potassium spray combined with restricted 'nasal only' breathing.

Results showed that seven out of the ten participants responded positively to the potassium channel blocker nasal spray, experiencing reduced frequency of airway collapse during sleep and lower blood pressure the following morning.

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However, combining the spray with restricted 'nasal only' breathing did not enhance sleep quality in this trial.

Dr. Osman highlights the safety and tolerability of the nasal spray, noting that participants who showed improved airway function during sleep also exhibited significant reductions in sleep apnea severity markers, including improved oxygen levels and decreased blood pressure.

Professor Eckert emphasizes that these findings offer promise for individuals unable to tolerate CPAP machines or seeking alternatives to existing therapies.

Currently, there are no approved drugs specifically for treating sleep apnea, but these insights pave the way for the development of new, safe, and user-friendly treatment options.

The research suggests that a potassium channel blocker nasal spray could provide a viable therapeutic solution for managing sleep apnea, potentially offering relief to millions of affected individuals worldwide.

‘A novel TASK channel antagonist nasal spray reduces sleep apnea severity in physiological responders: A randomized, blinded, trial’ by Amal M Osman, Barbara Toson, Ganesh Naik, Sutapa Mukherjee, Martina Delbeck, Michael Hahn, Thomas Mueller, Gerrit Weimann and Danny J Eckert.

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Joseph Shavit
Joseph ShavitSpace, Technology and Medical News Writer
Joseph Shavit is the head science news writer with a passion for communicating complex scientific discoveries to a broad audience. With a strong background in both science, business, product management, media leadership and entrepreneurship, Joseph possesses the unique ability to bridge the gap between business and technology, making intricate scientific concepts accessible and engaging to readers of all backgrounds.