How Wisconsin Volunteers Have Advanced Worldwide Understanding of Sleep Apnea

Feb 17, 2014

Last month, researchers, including some in the Milwaukee area, reported success in testing a new device used to treat sleep apnea. 

Milwaukee researchers helped develop a new device to help patients with sleep apnea.
Credit New England Journal of Medicine

Patients have a pacemaker-like device implanted to stimulate their upper airway, which closes off during episodes of obstructive sleep apnea.

Knowledge of the disorder has come a long way in the last 25 years, thanks in large measure to a group of more than a thousand Wisconsin volunteers known as the Wisconsin Sleep Cohort.

"You’ve been told all your life through school and health classes, 'Oh, you need to eat right, you need to get exercise.' But sleep matters, too.  And that’s the real accomplishment of the sleep cohort," says science writer Erik Ness.

Ness looked into the work done with those research subjects in the February issue of Milwaukee Magazine.