A new study from the Netherlands looks at detecting sleep apnea using a home sleeping testing system. The WatchPAT system uses ” a wrist-worn watch, a finger probe and a snoring sensor.”

The report discusses how important it is to detect and treat sleep apnea in people with Ds.

“Early detection and treatment of sleep apnea is important, because people with Down syndrome are more susceptible to cardiovascular and neurocognitive consequences of sleep apnea, such as short- and long-term memory problems and language impairments (Simpson et al., 2018). In addition, undiagnosed apnea can cause symptoms that could be erroneously attributed to other diseases, such as dementia (Moriconi et al., 2015). Moreover, sleep disorders may lead to behavioral problems (Dekker et al., 2015Gimenez et al., 2021). Consequently, caregiving/support or treatment may be inappropriate leading to a reduced quality of life. Treating sleeping disorders may improve cognition and quality of life and may promote healthy aging in adults with Down syndrome (Giménez et al., 2018).”

This limited study found that this system may provide a way to detect sleep disorders at home.

“Our study showed that the WatchPAT is a promising device to detect sleep apnea in people with Down syndrome. Compared to polysomnography, detection with this device is less invasive and less burdensome for people with Down syndrome. Furthermore, the WatchPAT is a relatively accessible solution to implement in care institutions.”

The full study is included in the October 2022 edition of Research in Developmental Disabilities and is available (for free) via Science Direct.


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