Sleep and Breathing Support for Myotonic Dystrophy during the COVID-19 Pandemic


Presented during Myotonic's Friday Afternoon Webinar Series.

Learn why daytime sleepiness in myotonic dystrophy is often caused by altered breathing during sleep. While breathing support with CPAP or BiPAP devices can improve sleep quality, their effectiveness can be diminished by respiratory infections, especially pneumonia.  Sleep and breathing considerations for people with myotonic dystrophy will be discussed in the context of COVID-19.

Please be sure to review the Respiratory Care Recommendations for Myotonic Dystrophy Patients During the COVID-19 Pandemic, which were discussed during the webinar.

About the Presenters:

John W. Day, MD, PhD
Stanford University

Dr. Day is a professor of neurology, pediatrics and pathology at Stanford University, where he is Director of Neuromuscular Medicine. Dr. Day has more than 30 years of experience diagnosing and caring for patients of all ages with myotonic dystrophy. He has spearheaded efforts to define central nervous system (CNS) effects of DM, focusing on sleep abnormalities as clinically significant, therapeutically tractable and objectively quantifiable CNS features in DM.

Jacinda Sampson, MD, PhD
Stanford University

Dr. Sampson is a clinical associate professor at Stanford University Hospitals and Clinics. She is a neuromuscular and neurogenetics specialist who has been caring for patients and families with myotonic dystrophies and other familial neurological disorders for over 12 years. She is actively involved in observational and clinical research in myotonic dystrophy and other neuromuscular and neurogenetic disorders.

Michelle Cao, DO
Stanford University

Dr. Michelle Cao is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Division of Neuromuscular Medicine and Division of Sleep Medicine, at Stanford University School of Medicine. As a member of the Stanford Neuromuscular Multidisciplinary Program, Dr. Cao provides respiratory care for patients with myotonic dystrophy who require home mechanical ventilation support. She sits on several national committees, including the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST) Home Mechanical Ventilation and Neuromuscular Disease NetWork, where she serves as Chair.