Grant to support sleep disorder

Monash alumnus Dr Bradley Edwards (BBiomedSc(Hons) 2003, PhDMed 2009) has been awarded a prestigious Unrestricted Research Grant by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Foundation. The grant will support his...

Monash alumnus Dr Bradley Edwards (BBiomedSc(Hons) 2003, PhDMed 2009) has been awarded a prestigious Unrestricted Research Grant by the American Thoracic Society (ATS) Foundation.

The grant will support his research into the relationship between obesity and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA).

Obstructive sleep apnoea is a common disorder, present in at least 11 per cent of adult men and three per cent of adult women and is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular morbidity and mortality.

Obesity is the strongest risk factor for OSA; however, the exact mechanisms by which obesity increases the risk of OSA are not clear.

Dr Edwards, who currently works as an Instructor in Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, has been awarded the $40,000 grant to explore several established but yet unproven hypotheses that explain the connection between obesity and OSA.

Dr Edwards will specifically assess how obesity alters the upper airway anatomy and muscle function, the respiratory arousal threshold, and the stability of the ventilatory control system in a group of obese OSA patients before and after weight loss surgery.

“We aim to be able to predict the important factors involved in the successful resolution of OSA following weight loss,” Dr Edwards said.

"Understanding the link between obesity and OSA is crucial for developing more effective interventions and treatment plans for obese OSA patients."