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Sleep disordered breathing is a major public health problem across Europe that remains under diagnosed throughout the region. Although treatments for conditions like obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome are generally effective, the lack of systematic data collection on the prevalence of sleep disordered breathing and the continued under diagnosis of its related conditions highlights the importance of continued research into prevention, treatment and management of sleep disordered breathing.
The ERS International Congress programme includes a dedicated sleep and breathing disorders track that has been developed by experts in the field. The track includes a variety of activities for health professionals who are involved in the management of sleep and breathing disorders and for researchers with an interest in this disease area.
Q: What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Congress in the sleep disordered breathing field?
A: We are facing a fascinating discussion on our approach to patients with breathing disturbances during sleep. The heterogeneity of the diseases becomes more and more evident from a clinical but also from a basic scientific point of view. During the Congress we will discuss expanding knowledge on new technical and also pharmacological approaches to specific underlying causes. We will learn more and more about the genetic background and how molecular pathways influence consequences of OSA such as ischemia and cancer.
Q: Is there a specific session in this track that should not be missed?
A: Don’t miss the “New translational insights in the heterogeneity of OSA”. This session will link advances in basic science to clinical practice. Another key specific session is the joint symposium on non-invasive ventilation and sleep apnoea, focusses on a broad spectrum of “Central breathing disturbances and hypoventilation syndromes”. It includes important topics such as opioid-induced sleep apnoea and hypoventilation syndromes in children.
Q: What do you think will be the popular topics in the sleep disordered breathing field at this year’s Congress, and what will be a highlight for you?
A: We are looking forward to a hot topic session on “Pharmacotherapy of SDB (05/09, 16:00-17:30). It will provide the current knowledge regarding the role of pharmacotherapy in OSA management connected to its pathophysiological traits. Another key session will be the “State of the Art Session in Sleep and Breathing disorders (06/09, 09:30-11:00)” it will summarise the pathophysiological mechanisms linking OSA to cardio-metabolic diseases, the important role of CPAP therapy connected to patient centric outcomes as well as the future directions regarding its use and its utility.
Q: What does congress offer to early career professionals who specialise in sleep disordered breathing?
A: First of all, I would like to say that the ERS International Congress offers early career professionals the possibility to have a look at how medicine in its basic, translational and clinical aspects is made all over the world and how this heterogeneity comes together in a spirit of scientific discussion, lively debate, creation of guidelines and achievement of medical evidence. It gives young professionals the opportunity to expand their network and build contacts in order to come closer to ERS activities and actively be involved – primarily getting in touch with other early career members and the ECM-focused activities that the Congress offers in the form of workshops, discussion and presentation rounds and bootcamps. The International Congress is also an occasion for getting to know the different fellowship opportunities sponsored by the ERS as well as getting feedback from the colleagues who won them.