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New NIH Grant on Sleep Apnea in Obese Kids

October 12, 2010 —


Dr. Michael Khoo has been awarded a $3.5 million dollar grant by the NIH National Heart Lung and Blood Institute in support of a four-year project entitled “Model-based phenotyping of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in pediatric obesity using dynamic magnetic resonance imaging”. The co-investigators in this project include Drs. Krishna Nayak and Shrikanth Narayanan from the department of Electrical Engineering, and Drs. Sally Ward and Thomas Keens from Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and USC Keck School of Medicine.

The prevalence of overweight and obesity in children has increased dramatically over the past two decades. A significant fraction of these obese children also have sleep-related breathing disorders. The proposed study combines overnight physiological measurements with a computational model of sleep apnea developed by Dr. Khoo and novel methods of dynamic magnetic resonance imaging (DMRI)  of the upper airway, developed by Drs. Nayak and Narayanan, to investigate why this subject population exhibits large variations in sleep and clinical characteristics. The knowledge derived from this study may provide improved guidelines for customizing therapeutic strategies to individual patients. As well, the technological improvements in real-time DMRI methodology developed in this project will help to significantly advance dynamic upper airway imaging in general.