The Wesley Sleep Research Group
In conjunction with the Wesley Research Institute, The Thoracic and Sleep Group conducts local, national and international clinical trials in the field of sleep medicine. In the company's second year, it has already taken on an international research project with the Wesley Research Institute.
Tackling CPAP Compliance
CPAP has become the accepted standard for treating Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and also remains the most successful treatment of the condition, with efficacy of the treatment reaching well into the 90% mark. Compliance of the therapy however is widely variable, with compliance rates ranging from only 50% (in conservative estimates) to up to 90% in ‘best case’ populations. One of the major contributors to poor compliance is with the mask interface of the CPAP system. Persistent mask leaks, skin irritations and pressure sores from the mask are all issues that must be addressed to ensure long term success of the treatment.
A New Type of Mask
A Brisbane based company called Accurest is now manufacturing a new type of mask specifically designed to each patient’s facial structure. Scott Coulter, the director of Accurest explains that his company specifically moulds CPAP masks to an individual’s exact facial shape in order to create a custom fit mask that sits perfectly on the patient’s face. The Thoracic and Sleep Group, in alliance with the Wesley Research Institute is conducting Phase II trials with Accurest to identify the response from naive CPAP users to custom masks. The aim is to determine any specific mask interface issues with generic designed masks that could be overcome with customising the interface.
Insomnia is the most common sleep complaint in the world, affecting one third of people at some stage of their lives. Recent studies into sleep science have resulted in the development of a number of treatments for insomnia, but there remains a specific population of people with idiopathic primary insomnia, whose only choice of effective treatment is medication.
Why Choose Medications
Insomnia is somewhat of an umbrella term, referring to many different types of insomnia, including secondary insomnia, which is caused by a separate and primary disorder (OSA, anxiety, depression, drug use etc). Primary insomnia can also be regarded as a broader term for specific types of insomnia, including psycho-physiological insomnia, environmental insomnia and idiopathic insomnia. Idiopathic insomnia is a disorder that can be treated by conditioning or behavioural therapy giving most patients up to 60% improvement in sleep quality. Success rates drop however when patients are assessed for ‘normal’ sleep.
The only alternative treatment for insomnia is medication, however patients often report next day drowsiness, mood changes and drug dependence. At most, some medications cause sleep behavioural disorders and can put the patient at high risk of self injury if not administered responsibly. In light of the drawbacks of current sedating medications, The Thoracic and Sleep Group is involved in international research with a novel insomnia medication to alleviate symptoms of this chronic and debilitating disease. The Phase 3 clinical trials hope to prove the previously positive results of this novel insomnia drug.
The Thoracic and Sleep Group Qld and The Wesley Research Institute hope to begin the trial in Early to Mid August 2010. It is very exciting to be one of only a few sleep labs in the world (and one of three in Australia) to be involved in this research.