The Cure to Sleep Apnea?: Phase II Clinical Trials Now Underway

Imthera Hypoglossal Nerve StimulationCHICAGO, IL – July 2015 – Chicago ENT and Chicago Sleep Center, the renowned ear, nose, throat, and allergy practice serving the Chicago area is pleased to announce the success of the ongoing hypoglossal nerve stimulation clinical trial now in its second phase.

“It saved my life,” said Michael C., a beneficiary of the hypoglossal nerve stimulation technique.

In 2013, Dr. Michael Friedman, Medical Director at Chicago ENT, performed the nation’s first “Targeted Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation” procedure. The technique has since received FDA approval for Phase II of the ongoing clinical trial and is a promising development for sleep apnea sufferers who have not had success with CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) or other methods used to control their condition.

Sleep apnea causes the airway to narrow or close off, reducing or stopping breathing for varying periods of time during sleep. The hypoglossal nerve stimulation procedure can correct sleep apnea by stimulating the hypoglossal nerve leading to the contraction of the genioglossus muscle, the major muscle responsible for tongue protrusion, thus preventing airway collapse and increasing airflow. As the hypoglossal nerves lies relatively close to the skin, electrodes are easily placed around the nerve and a pulse generator incorporated. Unique stimulation patterns are created for each patient to ensure the tongue lies flat and the airway remains unobstructed during sleep. The device is controlled by a battery-operated remote that begins pulsing once the patient is asleep.

“Targeted Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulation offers hope to the millions of sleep apnea patients who’ve tried and failed with other methods. This is the future of sleep apnea for severe cases,” said Dr. Friedman.

For those taking part in the clinical trial, it has been a “life changer” according to Adam S., another beneficiary of the hypoglossal nerve procedure: “It has been a life changer for my wife and me. I wake up, and I feel refreshed, and I feel good.” For Michael C., he reflects on his previous inability to experience restorative sleep and the impact of the procedure: “I wasn’t able to think coherently at times. I am much more focused now. I have intent. . . It really has changed my life.”

For more information on hypoglossal nerve stimulation, please call (773) 296-5500. If you are interested in participating in the hypoglossal nerve stimulation clinical study, please reach out to

About Chicago ENT

With over 30 years of experience and five convenient locations, Chicago ENT is the leading provider of ENT, sleep apnea, and sinus and allergy care in the Chicagoland area. Led by world-renowned otolaryngologist Dr. Michael Friedman, Chicago ENT has long been recognized as a national medical leader with a world-class team of ear, nose, and throat specialists, commitment to cutting-edge nonsurgical and surgical treatments, and innovative approach to treating sleep disorders in both adults and children.

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