Goal 1: Promote Human Health

ROLE OF HEALTH DISPARITIES IN SLEEP AND CIRCADIAN HEALTH—ENVIRONMENT

Self-report data indicate that insufficient sleep is more common in minority populations. This seems to be related to socioeconomic status. There is a need to move this beyond self-report and obtain objective measures in the relevant populations. Moreover, the basis of this difference needs to be established. What aspect of the environment leads to these differences, e.g., noise, stress related to sense of vulnerability, ...more »

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Self-report indicates that sleep duration is lower in minority populations. This seems to be related to socioeconomic groups. To address this issue requires understanding the basis of this and developing appropriate interventions.

 

The impact of this is as follows:

 

a. Implementing new technology based on mobile approaches to assess sleep duration in subjects in different socioeconomic groups.

b. Developing a comprehensive approach to understanding and evaluating environmental influences in sleep and circadian rhythm.

c. Designing and testing intervention to increase sleep duration in disadvantaged populations.

d. Improving the sleep health of minority populations.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is rapidly developing new mobile technology to assess sleep duration and other phenotypes in individuals living in their normal lives. There are a number of studies currently being conducted that could be leveraged to address this question. There are also developing approaches to assess environmental influences on sleep and circadian rhythm such as noise, light exposure, etc. Thus, this question could be addressed in the near future.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sleep Research Society

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Sleep Apnea

The general area is that of preoperative risk management of sleep apnea patients undergoing major surgery. This field is burgeoning with clinical activity. A large amount of healthcare dollars are expended annually in order to detect sleep apnea and offer therapy that is of unproven value. Most all of the data is retrospective case series or a mixture of retrospective and prospective cohort studies. Yet, across the country, ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The existing data shows that sleep apnea may be moderate risk factor for poor outcomes and complications from surgery but the magnitude of the risk and the degree to which sleep apnea therapy modifies this risk is not known and won’t be determined without larger scale trials. This field desperately needs some randomized trials to answer some of these questions. Trials which randomize patients undergoing some major surgery to a sleep apnea treatment with CPAP if OSA is diagnosed before surgery  vs. treating with CPAP after surgery in the post operative period is one such study that could be performed.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Clinical Trials in Pediatric Sleep Disorders - Effect of adenotonsillectomy

Effect of adenotonsillectomy on behavioral and cardiovascular outcomes in children with primary snoring

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

The recent NHLBI Childhood Adenotonsillectomy (CHAT) study showed highly significant behavioral improvements in children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome . This study included children with an apnea hypopnea index as low as 2/hr. Many small or suboptimally controlled studies suggest that even primary snoring can affect behavior. If large randomized controlled trials confirm this finding, it will radically affect the treatment of the estimated 10% of children who snore.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

What are the biological consequences of sleep loss or disruption and how can they best be avoided?

Arousals in obstructive sleep apena (OSA) are life saving, but the associated disruption of sleep is now thought to cause cognitive impairment, increased risk of high blood pressure and atherosclerosis, as well as glucose intolerance and metabolic syndrome. The mechanisms for these downstream effects, however, are not well understood. Can these specific pathophysiological mechanisms be identified, and can ways for mitigating ...more »

Submitted by (@csaper)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

By identifying the mechanisms by which sleep loss or disruption affects cognitive, cardiovascular, and metabolic function, we hope to find key regulatory points for which interventions may be developed. For example, if we can allow respiratory reflex responses to reopen the airway without EEG activation during OSA, we may be able to forestall some of the cognitive consequences of inadequate sleep. If we can prevent the autonomic responses associated with the EEG arousals and increases in respiratory drive, we may be able to block the repetiive elevations of blood pressure that lead to long term hypertension and accelerated atherosclerosis. If we can identify the reason for metabolic derangement associated with OSA, we may find, for example, that it is due to circadian misalignment and find ways to realign the sequence of metabolic events with the actual wake-sleep patterns of the patients. Finally, if we can potentiate the respiratory reflexes that re-establish the airway in OSA, without triggering the other components of arousals, we may be able to minimize or prevent the apneas. While current methods for treating OSA (e.g., CPAP and dental appliances) help many people, many others cannot tolerate these devices, and we require additional modes of therapy to mitigate the consequences of OSA.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

The methods are currently available to address the questions that are raised above. The revolution in methods for evaluating the functions of neural circuits, using optogenetics and chemogenetics, for example, should allow us to identify brain circuits that are involved in the various components of the reflex responses to apnea. We can examine their neurotransmitters and receptors, and design new therapies based on manipulating CNS circuitry. Methods for assessing ongoing autonomic, respiratory, and metabolic responses in genetically mutated mouse modesl may require further miniaturization of various physiological methods, but this field is also rapidly advancing. Finally, methods for examining ongoing changes in neuronal activity in the living brain of awake mice are rapidly advancing.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Clifford B Saper, MD, PhD

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

ESTABLISH NORMATIVE AGE- AND GENDER-SPECIFIC DATA FOR SLEEP DISRUPTION, SLEEP QUALITY AND CIRCADIAN TIMING

There is growing evidence that sleep durations are progressively declining in the United States. Moreover, sleep durations are different at different ages and in different ethnic groups. Currently definitions of normal are based on consensus since there is a lack of key data. Defining normal as with FEV1 is a critical step.

Submitted by (@jnoel0)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

There is a developing evidence from both basic research and clinical research on the role of insufficient sleep in different co-morbidities. These include cardiovascular disease, hypertension and metabolic disorders. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has appreciated the importance of this that adequate sleep is one of the pillars of health. As part of the CDC-supported program on sleep health, a consensus statement has been issued on normal sleep duration. The group doing this on behalf of the American Academic of Sleep Medicine and Sleep Research Society realized that our evidence base is inadequate at this time. Thus, there is a need to focus on this critical challenge. Sleep duration varies across the lifespan and there is some evidence that it is different in different ethnic groups. Thus, there is a need for comprehensive efforts to address this question and to obtain normative data for sleep duration that is age-, gender-specific and with respect to different ethnic groups.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

There are now recent cohorts at NIH assessing sleep duration using not only self-report but also actigraphy. These could be used as an initial approach to address this question. This will require some degree of coordination between NIH Institutes. In the future a cohort that is specific to addressing questions about sleep duration and other sleep problems would be optimal. There are major prevalent public health issues. This would be facilitated by development of new mobile approaches to assessing these behaviors in an objective way.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Sleep Research Society

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Elucidate the different causes of circadian disorders, and tailor the treatment to the cause

There are several possible physiological causes of Circadian Rhythm Sleep-Wake Disorders (CRSWDs), including lack of sensitivity to light, over-sensitivity to light, deficiencies in the ipRGC cells of the retina, lack of melatonin production, long elimination time of melatonin, long intrinsic circadian period, differences in timing of sleep relative to internal circadian rhythms, differences in tolerance to phase mismatch, ...more »

Submitted by (@peter0)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

By analogy, a patient may complain of abdominal pain. This could be due to infection, food poisoning, ulcers, gall bladder, cancer, etc. Imagine if we treated all these patients by removing their gall bladder. There would be some successes, and many failures. Surveys of the literature would be unable to conclude that there's a well established successful treatment. That's the state of treatment of CRSWDs today.

 

CRSWDs such as Delayed Sleep-Wake Phase Disorder and Non-24-Hour Sleep-Wake Disorder cause suffering and inability to work normal hours, and often result in otherwise productive individuals being unable to find jobs and having to seek disability support. Those who force themselves into a conventional schedule often end up with chronic health problems, resulting in further cost to themselves and to society.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

A major challenge is to diagnose not only a CRSWD but also its underlying cause. Improved biomarkers are essential to this effort, and are the subject of other Questions/Challenges. So too are a better understanding of the effects of light and melatonin on patients with these disorders, with the differing underlying impairments studied separately. With improvements in genetic testing and analysis, and improved sensor technology and automated data analysis, we are at the threshold of being able to study these underlying causes of CRSWDs.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Peter Mansbach

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Role of the lymphatic system in heart, lung, blood, sleep health and diseases

What is the role of lymphatic system in normal function of the heart? Do dysfunctional lymphatics contribute to heart failure? Do lymphatics have a role in recovery after MI? It has been reported that lymphatic vasculature transport HDL during reverse cholesterol transfer. Do lymphatics have a role in atherosclerosis? What is the contribution of lymphatic system to asthma or COPD? Does the lymphatic system contribute ...more »

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator1)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Understanding how lymphatic system contributes to normal physiology of heart, lung, blood, sleep systems will help also lead to new approaches for treatment of heart, lung, blood, sleep diseases.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Basic understanding of the development and hemodynamics of the lymphatic system and reagents to study the lymphatic function are available.

Lymphatic vasculature is essential for fluid hemostasis in the body, collects and returns the protein- and lipid-rich interstitial fluid to blood circulation, and also involved in immune cell trafficking and inflammation. Given these important physiological roles, function of the lymphatic system is expected to contribute to normal physiology of organs and its dysfunction to major diseases. There is very little or no information how the lymphatic system contribute to health and diseases of the cardiovascular, pulmonary and blood systems, and there are many unanswered questions. Answers to these questions may lead to new approaches for treatment of major HLB diseases. Main challenge is to get heart, lung, blood, sleep investigators interested in studying the contribution of the lymphatic system to heart, lung, blood, sleep health and diseases.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : NHLBI Staff

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77 up votes
27 down votes
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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 ...more »

Submitted by (@bmdixon)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common condition, which causes chronic fatigue and daytime sleepiness, as well as cognitive impairments affecting learning, concentration, and memory. Over the long term, it increases many health risks, including accidents, cardiovascular disease, and depression. OSA is characterized by partial, or complete, blockage of the airway during sleep, so that breathing repeatedly pauses or airflow is limited, causing repeated arousals from sleep. It is usually secondary to a narrow, or collapsible, airway due to either 1) obesity or overweight, or 2) abnormal morphology of the mandible or maxilla bones, which crowds facial structures, such as the tongue and nose, narrowing the pharynx. The causes of obesity are already being well studied, but there is relatively little research on the etiology of the structural abnormalities involved in OSA. Abnormalities of facial structure are widespread in the population causing, not only OSA, but also orthodontic problems that require many to get braces or have wisdom teeth extracted, and widespread temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems. However, multiple studies have documented that these abnormalities are almost completely absent from populations living a preindustrial, agrarian or forager, lifestyle, making them a “disease of civilization”. In particular, the abnormalities are associated with consumption of a modern diet of processed foods during prenatal, infant, and early childhood development.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

Current evidence implicates three factors in the development of these structural abnormalities: prenatal maternal nutrition (especially vitamin K2 status), breastfeeding vs. bottle-feeding, and frequency of consumption of tough foods after weaning (which provides exercise to the jaw). We need to form a large cohort and study orthodontic development prospectively from fetal development through mid-childhood, with data on diet, feeding practices, and physiological measures of nutrient status. Measurement methods are available using existing technologies to collect the necessary data on each of these measures. Determining the causes responsible for these structural abnormalities will enable further research to demonstrate effective methods of preventing them. Given that many patients with OSA are rendered so miserable by it that they undergo maxillomandibular advancement surgery to correct it, an expensive procedure with a lengthy recovery period, prevention would be a far better solution. This research will move us a big step closer to a future without sleep apnea and its formidable collection of negative effects on health and functioning.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Bonnie Dixon

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Sleep Paralysis must be better known to doctors, therapists, and the public

Sleep Paralysis (SP) is a very common (up to 40% of all people), yet little-known condition that is terrifying, and potentially traumatizing, especially to people who are unaware of this condition. It is critical that SP is better known by all doctors, therapists, and the public. Too many people are mistreated and misdiagnosed as psychotic or even demon possessed when they do not understand SP, or they hide the experience ...more »

Submitted by (@kendraz)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Critical Challenge (CC)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Worldwide, all cultures have created elaborate spiritual explanations for SP, many of which unnecessarily foster fear and superstition. Both fear and superstition could be greatly reduced by an objective understanding of SP and its remedies.

 

Examples of sleep paralysis being little known: In the current Coursera course, Sleep: Neurobiology, Medicine, and Society at the University of Michigan, which has many medical doctors and Phds as students, all the rare forms of sleep disorders were listed and discussed, except common Sleep Paralysis, which was never even mentioned.

 

When I personally experienced chronic SP 13 years ago, none of my doctors had heard of it. I had to do my own research to discover what it was and how to reduce it. In the meantime, when I shared the experiences of seeing fearful presences in my bedroom with my best friend, she became convinced I was possessed by an evil spirit and urged me to undergo a shamanic depossession ritual. Even after I explained to her that SP was common, she completely cut off all relationship with me out of her fear.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

making Sleep Paralysis better known as a first step should be easily accomplished by requiring education on this topic for all medical personnel. In addition, a campaign to inform the public is needed.

 

Reducing stress and disturbed sleep are the baseline for reducing SP. These simple remedies should be easily communicated to the public.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : kendra zoa

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing in patients with COPD

What are the risk factors for sleep-disordered breathing in patients with COPD (the “overlap syndrome")?

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : American Thoracic Society member

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Goal 1: Promote Human Health

Missing upper teeth & sleep apnea treatment: Problems?

I am a 73 year old female with Hypersensitivity Pneumonitis, Complex Sleep Neap, using oxygen @ 4-5 L/min 24/7 who just had my upper teeth extracted. I notice this has a negative effect, or appears to, on the effectiveness of apnea treatment. I wake several times during the night with lips flapping! This did not happen before the extraction. Because there are still some lower teeth, I am unable to close my mouth tightly ...more »

Submitted by (@lesliesmyth)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

If this question has an answer, it would help an unknown number of persons by once again providing effective treatment for sleep apnea. I find fatigue is building again, as it did before I was diagnosed and treated.

 

It may be simply a matter of a different style of mask, but it appears ideas on what kind are a bit sparse on the ground.

Feasibility and challenges of addressing this CQ or CC :

One would need a sampling of persons with lower teeth (some, or all) who also have sleep apnea. One would have to determine whether indeed, there is a deterioration in quality of treatment, and if the number of lower teeth are a factor. Does the form of apnea make a difference? Does age or body weight play a part?

 

This is not exactly couched in academic, medical terms, but it is still a valid question. Its solution, or if a solution already exists, it's distribution among sleep physicians, would help those who experience this combination of circumstances.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : Leslie H. Smyth

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Goal 2: Reduce Human Disease

Clinical Trials in Pediatric Sleep Disorders

Long-term risk of recurrence of obstructive sleep apnea in children successfully treated with surgery during childhood.

Submitted by (@nhlbiforumadministrator)

Is this idea a Compelling Question (CQ) or Critical Challenge (CC)? : Compelling Question (CQ)

Details on the impact of addressing this CQ or CC :

Very small, incomplete, retrospective studies, and some new emerging data from Hong Kong, suggest that a significant number of children with obstructive sleep apnea syndrome will develop progressive symptoms later in life, or will develop recurrence of OSAS after adenotonsillectomy. Further studies are needed to determine the long-term risk of recurrence. Results of this trial will influence clinical management in regards to ongoing surveillance and secondary prevention techniques.

Name of idea submitter and other team members who worked on this idea : ATS Member

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