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Study finds gut microbiome plays important role in sleep regulation

Results could lead to treatments for adults with obstructive sleep apnea.

Oct. 6, 2020

David Gozal

David Gozal

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a chronic sleep condition affecting more than 1 billion people worldwide. Evidence suggests OSA can alter the gut microbiome and may promote diabetes, hypertension and cognitive problems.

Researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine and MU Health Care have discovered how OSA-related sleep disturbances affect the gut microbiome in mice and how transplanting those gut bacteria into other mice can cause changes to sleep patterns in the recipient mice.

David Gozal, the Marie M. and Harry L. Smith Endowed Chair of Child Health at the MU School of Medicine, said the study shows the gut microbiome is a major role player in sleep regulation. This ultimately could translate into treatments that target the gut microbiome in humans with OSA.

Read more from the MU School of Medicine

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