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Health Highlights: Oct. 9, 2017

Here are some of the latest health and medical news developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:

FDA OKs Implanted Device Against a Form of Sleep Apnea

A new implantable treatment for moderate to severe central sleep apnea was approved Friday by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

The battery-operated device, known as the Remede System, is implanted under the skin in the chest to stimulate a nerve that promotes breathing.

Central sleep apnea occurs when the brain fails to send signals to the diaphragm to breathe during sleep, the FDA explained. It's seen most often in elderly patients and those with heart failure.

The condition is different from the more common obstructive sleep apnea, in which breathing disruptions are caused by upper airway obstruction.

"Patients should speak with their health care providers about the benefits and risks of this new treatment compared to other available treatments," said Tina Kiang, of the FDA's Center for Devices and Radiological Health. "This implantable device offers patients another treatment option for central sleep apnea," she said in an FDA news release.

Central sleep apnea can lead to daytime fatigue and an increased risk for high blood pressure, heart attack, heart failure, stroke, obesity, and diabetes.

The device is made by Minnesota-based Respicardia Inc. It's not intended for patients with obstructive sleep apnea, the agency said.

A study involving more than 140 patients found half who used the Remede System experienced a 50 percent or more reduction in the frequency and severity of apnea episodes. That degree of improvement was seen in only 11 percent on patients without the implant, the FDA said.

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Posted: October 2017