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Sleep apnea disproportionately affects the Down syndrome population (at least 10x more frequent) and, due to the inconvenience and challenges of overnight sleep studies, many individuals with DS go undiagnosed for years despite the consequences for their health. LuMind IDSC funded studies have shown that verbal IQ was 9 points lower in children with OSAS and Down syndrome, who also showed executive function deficits.

Treatment options such as CPAP only benefit a portion of those diagnosed with sleep apnea and most are not aware of the alternative treatment options. Improvements in the diagnosis and treatment of sleep apnea in Down syndrome are dearly needed and LuMind IDSC is supporting and/or developing solutions for both.


Sleep apnea affects 60-80% of individuals with DS compared to 5% in the general population and untreated sleep apnea can affect behavior and cardiovascular health, slower cognitive development, and accelerate the onset of Alzheimer’s Disease. Per a recent LuMind IDSC caregiver survey, only 17% diagnosed with sleep apnea fully benefit from a CPAP mask. Many are not aware of alternative treatment approaches such as hypoglossal stimulation. Also, a diagnosis of sleep apnea through a hospital overnight stay sleep study (polysomnogram) is very cumbersome for people with Down syndrome and alternative solutions are needed.

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  • MOSAIC: sleep apnea study for children by the University of Arizona, for families in driving distance of Tucson, AZ.
  • Hypoglossal Nerve Stimulator Clinical Trial: Sleep Apnea study led by Mass General Hospital and taking place at several sites across the country


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