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Sleep Medicine

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The Wall Street Journal reported recently on the topic of sleep deprivation as to which cities around the World are the most and least sleep deprived. Brisbane leads the way with the earliest bed time and earliest wake up time.

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According to new research, risk of being obese by age 21 was 20 percent higher among 16-year-olds who got less than six hours of sleep a night, compared with their peers who slumbered more than eight hours.

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As we get older there is a strong relationship between reduced amount and quality of sleep. Recent research has found specific cluster of neurons that have linked insomnia and more sleep fragmentation. The reduction of these neurons can be from normal aging but has also been seen in Alzheimers disease.

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A bedtime routine might sound like something that's only necessary for the grade-school set, but following a nightly schedule can greatly improve the sleep of adults, too. Sleep experts recommend establishing a bedtime routine, both to calm and relax you as you get ready to sleep and so you aren't inadvertently giving yourself jet lag.

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Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center and elsewhere, using a mouse model, have recorded the activity of individual nerve cells in a small part of the brain that works as a "switchboard," directing signals coming from the outside world or internal memories. Because human brain disorders such as schizophrenia, autism and post-traumatic stress disorder typically show disturbances in that switchboard, the investigators say the work suggests new strategies in understanding and treating them.

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The death rate from asthma in Australia has fallen by almost 70 per cent since the 1980s, according to a new report released by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare

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OSA and Nocturia

nocturia_pic_fullOveractive bladder (OAB) syndrome is the urgent, sudden and compelling desire to void which is difficult to delay. Several reasons are thought to account for the development of OAB: morphologic changes of the detrusor muscle of the bladder (e.g., patchy denervation of detrusor muscle bundles), neurologic changes (e.g., ischaemic nerve damage), age-related causes of urinary dysfunction, and metabolic causes (e.g., disturbed serotonin metabolism). The prevalence of OAB in Europe is reported to be 4.6% to 15.0 % in men and 14.0% to 40.0% in women.

In contrast, nocturia is the awakening from sleep to urinate. This is a common symptom in a variety of medical disorders and in the elderly. Awakening from sleep as a result of nocturia is thought to be secondary to a sensation of urinary urgency resulting from an overextended bladder.

Studies have reported that 10% of the general population over age 20 has nocturia two or more times per night. In the 50-59 age group, 58% of men and 66% of women experience nocturia. In those over age 80, 72% of men and 91% of women report nocturia. Nocturia-related awakenings can also cause significant sleep disruption and fatigue in elderly patients and are correlated with an increased number of falls at night.

Older men who have nocturia are often assumed to have benign prostatic hypertrophy and older women with nocturia are often assumed to have an unstable bladder or reduced bladder capacity associated with aging. However, nocturia occurs as a result of overproduction of urine, rather than diminished bladder capacity or prostatic hypertrophy.

New medical evidence confirms that obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is associated with a high incidence of both nocturia and overactive bladder syndrome. Based upon study findings a model has been developed to illustrate the complex set of events surrounding OSA leading to polyuria (excess urine production).

nocturiacycle

The overall impact of OSA is not just sleep deprivation; it is also a repetitive noxious cardiovascular event. In addition, OSA natriuresis is now identified as a mechanism for nocturnal polyuria (nocturia, enuresis and incontinence).

Recent studies demonstrate that nocturia was an independent predictor for severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and therefore a marker of greater risk of stroke recurrence and mortality after stroke. Since nocturia is common in post-stroke patients with OSA, this recent study explored the predictive role of nocturia for severe OSA in patients with ischaemic stroke. Sixty-five patients with ischemic stroke admitted to rehabilitation ward received polysomnography and clinical assessments, including a 3-day urinary frequency–volume recording.

Patients with severe OSA were older (69.6 ± 9.9 vs. 62.6 ± 11.5 year), had a significantly higher oxygen desaturation index (37.9 ± 16.1 vs. 8.8 ± 6.1 episodes/night) and had a higher frequency of nocturia (2.2 ± 1.0 vs. 1.5 ± 0.8 episodes/night) than those without. In addition, men with severe OSA had a larger neck circumference (409 ± 26 vs. 381 ± 32 mm) than those without. The frequency of nocturia, age, sex, and interaction between sex and neck circumference remained significant in the final model for severe OSA.

The odds ratio of nocturia was highest (3.5) among the four variables consistent with nocturia being an independent predictor for severe OSA. For this reason increasing evidence favours all patients with ischemic stroke being screened for severe OSA.

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