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Sleep apnea common after spinal cord injury, study finds - U.S. News & World Report
January 28, 2014
People with spinal cord injuries should be assessed for sleep apnea, researchers suggest. In a study that looked at 26 people with cervical (neck) and thoracic (upper mid-back) spinal cord injuries, investigators found that 77 percent of them had breathing problems during sleep and 92 percent had poor sleep quality. The nature of the breathing problems experienced by these patients during sleep is complex, and many of them had both obstructive and central sleep apnea. "The majority of spinal cord injury survivors have symptomatic sleep-disordered breathing and poor sleep that may be missed if not carefully assessed," lead author Dr. Abdulghani Sankari, physician scientist at John D. Dingell VA Medical Center and Wayne State University School of Medicine, said in a journal news release. "Our findings help in identifying the mechanism of sleep-disordered breathing in spinal cord injury and may provide potential targets for new treatment," he added.