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Canadian Respiratory Journal
Volume 22, Issue 3, Pages 176-178
Original Article

Effects of One-Week Tongue-Task Training on Sleep Apnea Severity: A Pilot Study

Eric Rousseau,1 César Augusto Melo-Silva,1,2 Simon Gakwaya,1 and Frédéric Sériès1

1Unité de recherche en pneumologie, Centre de recherche, Institut Universitaire de Cardiologie et de Pneumologie de Québec (IUCPQ), Université Laval, Québec, Québec, Canada
2Laboratory of Respiratory Physiology, University of Brasília, UnB, Brasília, DF, Brazil

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of one-week tongue-task training (TTT) on sleep apnea severity in sleep apnea subjects. Ten patients with sleep apnea (seven men, mean [± SD] age 52±8 years; mean apnea-hypopnea [AHI] index 20.9±5.3 events/h) underwent 1 h TTT in the authors’ laboratory on seven consecutive days. A complete or limited recording and tongue maximal protruding force were assessed before and after one-week TTT. One-week TTT was associated with a global AHI decrease (pre-TTT: 20.9±5.3 events/h; post-TTT: 16.1±5.1 events/h; P<0.001) and AHI decrease during rapid eye movement sleep (pre-TTT: 32.2±18.4 events/h; post-TTT: 16.7±6.6 events/h; P=0.03), while protruding force remained unchanged. The authors consider these results to be potentially clinically relevant and worthy of further investigation in a large randomized trial.