Sleep medicine, concerned with diagnosing and treating problems affecting sleep and their reflection on the physical and mental functions of the body, has emerged as one of the modern medical specialties. Following research, more than 87 sleep disorders have been recorded, each with its diagnostic and therapy.
Due to the importance of this biological process, the College of Medicine and the University Medical City at King Saud University established the University Sleep Disorders Center in 2002, the first specialized and pioneering academic research and training center in the field in the Kingdom, with the aim of bridging the scientific gap in this field.
The center distinguished itself through its ability to diagnose rare cases of sleep disorder, following 8,500 studies presented as part of scientific contribution at several international conferences and published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. As a results, the center has received requests for cooperation from specialized bodies in various countries.
The center conducts tests on the conditions diagnosed, including polysomnography (PSG) to monitor brain activity, breathing and the movement of heart, legs, abdomen and chest.
Video techniques are used to monitor abnormal movements, the level of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood during sleep is recorded, and a technician monitors sleep using a comprehensive or a partial PSG device.
The center receives patients of all age, including newborns, from all over the Kingdom.
It deals with individuals suffering from sleep apnea and other sleep-related breathing disorders, central hypersomnia disorders, rapid eye movement sleep behavior disorder and insomnia, circadian disorders, restless legs syndrome, periodic limb movement disorder, nocturnal epilepsy, and other disorders.
The center cooperates with specialists in the field of dentistry, cardiology, lung diseases, nerves, ears, nose, throat, and psychology, as these specialties may be related to sleep disorders.
The status of patients’ hearts and brains is monitored in order to take appropriate decisions.
The center relies on scientific research in diagnosing cases and providing treatment.
Center Director Dr. Ahmed Bahamam, in an interview with the Saudi Press Agency, talked about the importance of scientific research in treating diseases, stressing that the center has published its work in more than 400 peer-reviewed papers and has chapters published in specialized books, published four scientific reference books, and three more will be published in 2024. Its members have received several local and regional awards for their work in the field.
According to Bahamam, that the center also presented more than 130 research papers in conferences, both at home and abroad, while students at the College of Medicine, as well as graduate students from Saudi, British and Australian universities have presented 30 research and scientific papers.
Bahamam said the center established the first specialized fellowship program, in the field of sleep medicine, in Asia, in 2009, and more than 80 psychiatrists, nearly 100 chest doctors for adults and children in the Saudi Board, and 55 technicians from hospitals in the Kingdom and the Arab Gulf countries benefited from its training programs and a fellowship at King Saud University for chest diseases.
In a bid to raise awareness and educate the community about sleep disorders, the center, Dr. Bahamam said, created the first educational electronic encyclopedia, in Arabic and English, in the field of medicine and sleep disorders that can be accessed through the link www.alnoum.com. To that end, it also carried out activities and used media outlets.
Source: Saudi Press Agency