New technique eases monitoring of sleep disorders

May 10th, 2008 - 3:50 pm ICT by admin  

Sydney, May 10 (IANS) A new way of monitoring breathing patterns in sleep disorders could form the basis of an automated system, cheaper and easier to handle than current methods. “In the future, diagnosing a sleep problem may be as simple as putting on a breathing monitor during a night’s sleep at home, in your own bed,” said Phil Terrill of University of Queensland who developed the system.

“This would mean that those children with sleep problems could be quickly diagnosed and treated appropriately,” he added.

This system is based on a branch of maths called the chaos theory, reports Sciencealert.

Terrill, 25, has been working with respiratory and sleep medicine experts at the Mater Children’s Hospital.

Clinical research showed that up to 20 percent children have symptoms of sleep problems and there were very few facilities available to investigate sleep problems.

A band, placed around the child’s chest, recorded breathing rates that were then analysed using Terrill’s new formula. It has been successfully tested on 30 children so far.

Minor infant sleeping problems can result in daytime sleepiness and inattention with prolonged problems causing behavioural and learning difficulties.

Current sleep monitoring involves an overnight stay in a hospital sleep lab with specialised equipment needing regular attention of a nurse, doctor or sleep technician.

He said previous work analysed sleep-breathing patterns using conventional statistical methods. The next step is to test the formula on teenagers and adults.

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