Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What causes the structural abnormalities that cause sleep apnea, and how can they be prevented?

It is estimated that up to 28% of the population suffer from sleep apnea, which impairs functioning and reduces quality of life, while increasing risk of accidents and a variety of cardiovascular, metabolic, and neuropsychiatric diseases. A large portion of sleep apnea cases are caused by abnormal oro-nasal-maxillo-mandibular features that result in crowding of the upper airway, making it vulnerable to collapsing or restricting air flow during sleep. These malformations are associated with diet during development, but the exact causal mechanisms are not yet well defined. We need a systematic program of research to determine the reasons why these abnormalities of facial structure have become common and develop means of preventing them.

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Idea No. 377