By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly — Capnia, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) has been issued patent number 8763604, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors (see also Capnia, Inc.).
The patent’s inventors are Rasor, Ned S. (Cupertino, CA); Rasor, Julia S. (Los Gatos, CA).
This patent was filed on November 26, 2012 and was published online on July 1, 2014.
From the background information supplied by the inventors, news correspondents obtained the following quote: “The present invention relates generally to medical apparatus and methods. In particular, the present invention relates to methods and devices for delivering carbon dioxide and other gases to patients for relieving symptoms associated with headache (e.g., migraine headaches, tension-type headaches, cluster headaches), jaw pain, facial pain (e.g., trigeminal neuralgia), allergies (rhinitis and conjunctivitis), asthma, nervous disorders (e.g., epilepsy, Parkinson’s), and other common ailments.
“A walk through the headache and allergy section of any pharmacy quickly reveals that there is wide spread interest in remedies for relieving symptoms commonly associated with headaches, allergies, asthma, and other common ailments. The commonly available therapies include oral medicines, nasal sprays, oral inhalers, nasal inhalers, eye drops, and nose drops, and probably other devices and approaches that have been developed over the years. Still more possible therapies are available from the pharmacy with a prescription from a patient’s doctor (e.g., injectables, inhalables). Despite the very large number of therapies which are available, no one therapy meets all patient needs, and many of the therapies suffer from very significant shortcomings. For example, present day therapies are slow-acting, have numerous adverse side effects (e.g., nausea, drowsiness, rebound headache from analgesic overuse, rebound congestion from decongestant overuse, dizziness, sedation, addiction, and numerous others), have low efficacy, and are contraindicated for a large portion of patients (e.g., those with hypertension, coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease, peptic ulcers, pregnancy, concurrent medications that would interact, children, elderly, and others). Suffice it to say that there is a continuing interest in providing improved methods and apparatus for treating such common symptoms and ailments.
“The use of diluted carbon dioxide by inhalation for treating symptoms related to headaches, allergies, asthma, nervous disorders, and other common ailments was demonstrated in the 1940’s and 1950’s. The treatment protocols generally rely on breathing masks or other equipment for delivering relatively large volumes of dilute carbon dioxide for the patient to inhale through the mouth and/or the nose into the lungs until they become unconscious. The efficacy of this treatment depends upon the systemic effects of the inhaled gas and therefore require large volumes of gas. Typical carbon dioxide volumes inhaled were in the range from 0.5 to 25 liters of 30\% to 70\% carbon dioxide diluted in oxygen during a single treatment which was repeated several times a week for 25 to 50 treatments. While the use of inhaled carbon dioxide has proven to be quite effective for a number of indications, the wide spread use of carbon dioxide delivered in this manner never became popular. It is limited by the necessity of making the patient unconscious, the length of the treatment time and course, and the necessarily large, bulky non-portable gas cylinders and physician administration it requires. Most prior systems are so large and heavy they must be wheeled about using a dolly or a cart, and thus do not lend themselves to use outside of the hospital or home. While hand-held carbon dioxide dispensers have been proposed (for other purposes such as the treatment of hyperventilation), they are designed to deliver large volumes of dilute carbon dioxide for inhalation.
“For these reasons, it would be desirable to provide improved apparatus and methods for treating the symptoms normally associated with headaches, allergies, asthma, and the like. Such apparatus and methods should provide small volumes of gas for convenient use away from the home, substantially immediate relief of symptoms, safety with few or no side effects, efficacy without requiring unconsciousness, efficacy in a large number of patients, therapy for those contraindicated for present day therapies, therapy without interaction with concurrent medications, low cost, a long life (in at least some embodiments), and permit the patient to administer the therapy and adapt the product usage for maximum comfort and effectiveness. At least some of these objectives will be met by the inventions described hereinafter.
“U.S. Pat. No. 3,776,227, describes a hand-held dispenser that delivers dilute carbon dioxide intended for the treatment of hyperventilation by inhalation. In addition, this hand-held dispenser is not designed to deliver carbon dioxide at high concentrations which are unbreathable. Other inhalation devices, systems, and methods for delivering carbon dioxide and other gases and aerosols to patients are described in U.S. Pat. Nos. 3,513,843; 3,870,072; 3,974,830; 4,137,914; 4,554,916; 5,262,180; 5,485,827; and 5,570,683.
“Gas therapy for the treatment of headaches, allergies, asthma, and other conditions as well as associated physiology is described in the following references in the medical literature:
“A. Carbon Dioxide Therapy Diamond, S. Migraine headache–its diagnosis and treatment. 13.sup.th Annual Practicing Physician’s Approach to the Difficult Headache Patient, Rancho Mirage, Calif., Feb. 5-19, 2000 Fisher H K et al, Am Rev Respir Dis 114(5):861, November 1976 Fisher H K et al, Am Rev Respir Dis 101:855-896, 1970 Gillman M A et al, Br J Psychiatry 159:672-5, 1991 Grosshans V A et al., Z Gesamte Inn Med 42(23):667-70, 1987 Harrowes W M C, Selinger Z Fractional administration of carbon dioxide in the treatment of neuroses, in Carbon Dioxide Therapy A Neurophysiological Treatment of Nervous Disorders. Second Edition. L J Meduna Ed, Charles C. Thomas publisher, Springfield, Ill. 1958 Jozefowicz R F Neurologic Manifestations of Systemic Disease 7(3):605-616, August 1989 LaVerne A A Dis Nerv System 14:5, 1953 Leake C D et al, Calif West Med 31:20, 1929 Loevenhart A S et al. JAMA 92(11), 1929 MacRae, D. Carbon dioxide in pediatrics, in Carbon Dioxide Therapy A Neurophysiological Treatment of Nervous Disorders. Second Edition. L J Meduna ed, Charles C. Thomas publisher, Springfield, Ill., 1958 Marcussen R M, Wolff H G, Arch Neurol Psychiatry 63:42-51, 1950 Meduna L J Dis Ner System 8(2), 1947 Meduna L J J Nerv & Ment Dis 108:373, 1948 Meduna L J Ed, Carbon Dioxide Therapy A Neurophysiological Treatment of Nervous Disorders. Second Edition. Charles C. Thomas publisher, Springfield, Ill. 1958 Moriarty J D Prognosis with carbon dioxide therapy, including the epinephrine-mecholyl test (Funkenstein test), in Carbon Dioxide Therapy A Neurophysiological Treatment of Nervous Disorders. Second Edition. L J Meduna Ed, Charles C. Thomas publisher, Springfield, Ill., 1958 Moriarty J D J Clin & Exper Psychopath 13(3), 1952 National Headache Foundation. A patients guide to migraine prevention & treatment, Chicago, Ill., August 1996. Rodarte J R et al., Resp Physiol 17:135-145, 1973 Singh V et al., Lancet 335:1381-3, 1990 Wilkinson W E Some clinical observations pertaining to the effects of carbon dioxide on the biology of mental disease, in Carbon Dioxide Therapy A Neurophysiological Treatment of Nervous Disorders. Second Edition. L J Meduna Ed, Charles C. Thomas publisher, Springfield, Ill., 1958 Wilmoth D F et al., AACN Clin Issues 7(4):473-81, November 1996
“B. Nitric Oxide Therapy Pagano D et al., Eur J Cardiothorac Surg 10(12):1120-6, 1996 Ream R S et al., Crit Care Med 27(5):989-96, May 1999 Schenk Pet al., Ann Emerg Med 33(6):710-4, June 1999
“C. Helium Therapy Hollman G et al Crit Care Med 26(10):1731-6, October 1998 Jolliet P et al Crit Care Med 27(11):2422-9, November 1999 Schaeffer E M et al Crit Care Med 27(12):2666-70, December 1999
“D. Physiology Aizawa et al., Eur Respir J 13(4):775-80, April 1999 Cha E J et al., J Appl Physiol 62(4):1544-50, April 1987 Fiermonte G et al. Acta Neurol Scand 92(2): 166-9, August 1995 Glovsky M M Cur Opin in Pulm Med 4:54-58, 1998 Leake C D Sci Monthly 20:320, 1925 Loh E et al., Ann Thorac Surg 67(5):1380-5, May 1999 Lorente de No R Studies of the Rockefeller Institute 131:148-194, 1947 Nielsen T M et al., Acta Physiol Scand 98(2):192-9, October 1976 Saqueton C B et al., Am J Physiol 276(6 Pt 1):L925-L932, June 1999. Schuttauf F et al Opthalmologe 95(4):225-8, April 1998 Sterling G M et al., J of Appl Physiol 32(1):39-43, January 1972 Tang A et al., Clinical Research 20:243, 1972”
Supplementing the background information on this patent, NewsRx reporters also obtained the inventors’ summary information for this patent: “According to the present invention, methods, apparatus, and kits are provided for relieving symptoms associated with a variety of common ailments, particularly headaches, rhinitis, asthma, and epilepsy. Specific symptoms include head pain, jaw pain, facial pain, sinus congestion, sneezing, itchy throat, itchy eyes, rhinorrhea, difficulty breathing, seizures, and the like. This list of ailments and symptoms is not meant to be exhaustive, and the present invention may find use with other disorders where infusion with the treatment gases described hereinafter are found to provide for symptomatic relief. The inventions allow delivery of a small volume of therapeutic gas at high concentration directly into the nasal passages locally without inhalation providing faster relief without the adverse side effects of systemic drugs that are ingested, injected, or inhaled.
“The present invention relies on infusing or bathing the mucous membranes of a body region of a patient, e.g., nasal and/or oral and/or ocular, with a treatment gas that induces a therapeutic effect relieving symptoms. An exemplary treatment gas is carbon dioxide but other gases such as nitric oxide, oxygen, isocapnic mixtures of gaseous acids, helium, and the like, will also find use. The therapeutic gases (referred to herein as ‘therapeutic gases’) may be used in a substantially pure form without other gases, active agents, or other substances that dilute the therapeutic gas or that have other biological activities. In other instances, however, the therapeutic gases may be combined with other gases, such as inert carrier gases, active gases, solids to form aerosols, liquid droplets to form aerosols, sprays, powders, or the like to potentiate (enhance) their effects. Conversely, these agents combined with the therapeutic gas can potentiate the effects of the therapeutic gas. In such instances, the therapeutic gases and mixtures may have biological activities in addition to the relief of symptoms accompanying common ailments, as described above. In all instances, however, the carbon dioxide or other principle therapeutic gas will be delivered in a quantity and over a time course that results in the reduction or elimination of the symptom that is being treated. A preferred aspect of the present invention is providing the patient with the ability to select a rate of infusive gas flow and total gas dose that are effective and tolerable for the particular patient, which flow rate and dose are generally much smaller than those employed in previous art.
“The present invention provides for the desired symptomatic relief by infusing the treatment gas into a nasal and/or oral cavity without the patient necessarily inhaling the therapeutic gas. In particular, it has been found that by having the patient not inhale the therapeutic gas, i.e., substantially prevent passage of the therapeutic gas into the trachea or lungs by holding his or her breath or by breathing either nasally or orally via the route not being infused with the therapeutic gas, the volume of the body region being treated is significantly reduced. A relatively low volume of the carbon dioxide or other treatment gas can thereby be used to achieve the desired therapeutic effect. In addition, substantial exclusion from the lungs permits the use of the treatment gas at high (chronically unbreathable) concentrations, often being substantially pure approaching 100\%, which is necessary to achieve maximum effective treatment via the nasal and oral mucosa. Furthermore, nasal or oral infusion of a chronically unbreathable mixture of an inert carrier gas with nitric oxide permits direct delivery of nitric oxide to the treated mucosa without the oxidation of nitric oxide that would occur if the carrier gas were a chronically breathable mixture of nitric oxide with air or oxygen.
“In the case of mild headaches, rhinitis, or similar conditions, a total carbon dioxide volume as low as one cubic centimeter (cc) delivered over a time as short as one second may achieve adequate symptomatic relief. Of course, for more severe symptoms, such as those associated with migraine headache, the total treatment volumes of carbon dioxide and treatment times may be much greater.
“Nasal and/or oral administration of concentrated carbon dioxide without inhalation may provide adequate symptom relief for asthma due to the physiologic phenomenon known as the nasobronchial reflex. In all cases, however, it is believed that the ability to successfully relieve the patient’s symptoms depends primarily on the total volume of treatment gas delivered to the patient over a sufficiently long duration. That is, the rate at which the treatment gas is delivered has little effect, and generally the patient can use as rapid a delivery rate as the patient finds comfortable or tolerable in order to achieve a target total dosage and reduce the amount of time needed for treatment. Guidelines for dosages and treatment times for infusion into a nasal and/or oral cavity for common symptoms associated with particular ailments are set forth in the Dosage Guideline below.
“TABLE-US-00001 TABLE I DOSAGE GUIDELINE Treatment Total Time Dosage Flow Rate Typical Typical Condition (cc/sec) (Range) (sec) (Range) (cc) Allergic Rhinitis: Mild 1-10 3 (1-5) 10 (2-20) Moderate 1-10 15 (2-30) 30 (2-60) Severe 1-10 50 (3-79) 160 (12-350) Tension-Type Headache: Mild 1-10 5 (1-16) 30 (1-80) Moderate 1-10 10 (2-16) 50 (2-80) Severe 1-10 60 (24-135) 300 (168-675) Migraine Headache: Mild 1-10 30 (15-50) 80 (40-150) Moderate 1-10 60 (23-115) 160 (65-345) Severe 1-10 85 (30-180) 250 (90-540)
“The present invention also provides for the desired symptomatic relief of allergic eye irritation (e.g., conjunctivitis) by infusing the treatment gas over the eye, either behind a cupped hand over the eye or by other cup means that confine the therapeutic gas at high concentration over the eye for the treatment period. The treatment time and dose for treatment of the eye are similar to those for nasal and oral treatment.
“A first aspect of the present invention provides methods for delivering a therapeutic gas, e.g., carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, oxygen, isocapnic mixtures of gaseous acids, helium, and the like to a human patient. The method comprises generating a flow of the carbon dioxide or other therapeutic gas, and infusing a mucous membrane or an eye with the flow of the gas. As described above, in order to limit and concentrate the infusion of the therapeutic gas for nasal and/or oral treatment, the patient usually refrains from inhaling the therapeutic gas while the nasal or oral mucous membrane is being infused or the patient breathes either nasally or orally via the route not being infused with the therapeutic gas. In this way, the volume of the nasal and/or oral cavity that is filled by the flowing therapeutic gas is minimized and the concentration of the gas maximized since the therapeutic gas does not need to fill the large capacity of the lungs to provide a therapeutic effect.
“While it will be preferred not to inhale the therapeutic gas, the gases are not toxic and some passage of the gasses into the trachea and/or lungs will not significantly detract from the therapy. Moreover, with practice, many patients will be able to continue breathing ambient air through a nasal or oral route while simultaneously infusing the oral or nasal mucous membranes with the therapeutic gas. That is, in some cases, the patient may continue breathing through the mouth while infusing the nasal passages with the therapeutic gas or continue breathing through the nose while infusing the oral cavity with the therapeutic gas. Thus, in the first aspect of the present invention, the patient is required only to limit or inhibit passage of the therapeutic gas into the trachea and/or lungs in order to localize or concentrate the therapeutic gas in the nasal or oral passages being treated.
“In particular embodiments, the therapeutic gas may comprise essentially pure carbon dioxide. By ‘essentially pure,’ it is meant that the carbon dioxide, or other therapeutic gas, is free from the significant presence of other gases, i.e., the total volume of gas will comprise at least 50\% carbon dioxide, preferably at least 70\% carbon dioxide, and more preferably 95\% or greater. In addition to being free from other gases, the carbon dioxide will be free from other physiologically or biologically active components, such as drugs, surfactants, and other substances that, although present at relatively low concentrations, would have physiologic or biologic effect.
“In other embodiments, however, the carbon dioxide, or other therapeutic gas, may be present in a carrier which would have a significant presence, i.e.; the total volume of carbon dioxide will comprise at least 6\% carbon dioxide, preferably at least 30\% carbon dioxide, and more preferably 49\%. The carrier may be inert or biologically active. Exemplary inert carrier gases include nitrogen, air, oxygen, halogenated hydrocarbons, and the like. In preferred embodiments, the therapeutic gases are generated at a flow rate in the range from 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec, preferably from 2 cc/sec to 10 cc/sec. For pediatric application, flow rates less than 1 cc/sec (e.g., 0.5 cc/sec) may be preferred. Infusion preferably comprises directing the flow of therapeutic gas into one nostril and allowing the flow to infuse through the nasal passages and pass outwardly through the other nostril. Such infusion will occur under the pressure of the therapeutic gas that is being released into the one nostril, i.e., the patient is not inhaling or otherwise causing the therapeutic gas to infuse through the nasal passages. In such nasal passage infusion protocols, the patient’s mouth is closed in order to block exit of the gas through the mouth. In an alternative infusion protocol, the therapeutic gas is directed into the patient’s mouth and allowed to exit through either or both nostrils. In still another infusion protocol, the therapeutic gas is directed into a nostril or both nostrils and exits through the open mouth. In the latter two protocols, both the oral mucous membranes and nasal mucous membranes are infused with the therapeutic gas. The patient should avoid breathing substantially through the oral or nasal passages being perfused with the therapeutic gas. It should be recognized that the patient can breathe through the mouth while perfusing the nasal passages, and can breathe through the nose while perfusing the oral cavity. Furthermore, the patient can take single breaths during a long infusion step without substantially changing the total infusion time in that step.
“The treatment steps may occur as a single infusion or multiple infusions. The length of any particular infusion step will depend, among other things, upon the degree of relief the patient is experiencing, i.e., the patient may continue and/or repeat infusions until relief is achieved. Single infusion steps usually will be performed for a time in the range from 1 second to 20 seconds for rhinitis relief and 1 second to 60 seconds for headache relief and more usually from 2 seconds to 15 seconds for rhinitis and 10 seconds to 30 seconds for headache. The infusing steps often will be repeated one, two, three, four, or more times in order to achieve the desired total treatment time set forth in the table above. Usually, methods will be performed with hand-held or other delivery devices which have an adjustable flow rate capability. That is, the devices may be adjusted to deliver relatively constant therapeutic gas flows at a particular value within the range from 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec. The methods may thus further comprise adjusting the gas flow to a level which the patient perceives is comfortable. After the gas flow is adjusted, a total duration of treatment may be determined based on the gas flow and the desired total amount of gas to be delivered. While such treatment flows and treatment times may initially be selected based on data, such as provided in Table I above, it will be appreciated that the patient will eventually learn what treatment flow rates, treatment times, and number of treatments lead to successful symptom relief for them personally. Indeed, in medical practice today, gas therapy is a ‘titrate to effect’ therapy without a specified dosage.
“A second aspect of the present invention comprises methods for generating a therapeutic dosage of carbon dioxide or other treatment gas. The methods comprise releasing from a hand-held dispenser a flow of therapeutic gas comprising from 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec of carbon dioxide. Preferably, the gas flow will consist essentially of carbon dioxide, i.e., be pure carbon dioxide as described above. Alternatively, however, the gas flow may comprise carbon dioxide present in a carrier gas, also as described above and/or with solid or liquid drugs or other substances. The hand-held dispenser will have an outlet suitable for delivering the gas to the patient. In a preferred embodiment, the outlet will be suitable for sealing in or against a human nostril. In an alternative embodiment, the outlet will be suitable for sealing in or against a human mouth. In another alternative embodiment, the outlet will be suitable for sealing around a human eye or both eyes. One or more treatment steps may be performed, with each step having a duration in the range from 1 second to 100 seconds, preferably from 2 seconds to 30 seconds, and often from 1 second to 20 seconds, depending on the condition being treated and on its severity. The total number of treatment steps will be selected depending on symptom severity. Typically mild symptoms require 1 or 2 treatment steps, moderate symptoms require 2 to 3 treatment steps, and severe symptoms require 3 to 8 treatment steps. The total number of treatment steps will be selected depending on the flow rate in order to provide a total target dosage of the carbon dioxide. Typically, the flow rates will be adjustable to a set point within the range from 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec. While such treatment flows and treatment times and number of treatment steps may initially be selected based on data, such as provided in Table I above, it will be appreciated that the patient will eventually learn the treatment regimen that leads to successful symptom relief for them personally.
“In yet another aspect, the present invention comprises dispensers for delivering therapeutic gases to a patient. The dispensers comprise a container holding a volume of the therapeutic gas, typically carbon dioxide or any of the other therapeutic gases described above. The dispenser further comprises a flow regulator that releases a flow of the therapeutic gas from the container to an outlet that is adapted to seal against a human nostril, mouth, or eye. Thus, the dispensers will be useful for delivering the therapeutic gas to the nostril, mouth, or eye for infusion of a mucous membrane according to the methods generally described above. As in the methods described above, the therapeutic gas is preferably carbon dioxide, either substantially pure carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide present in a carrier gas or liquid and/or combined with other active or non-active substances. The flow regulator preferably will be adjustable so that the patient can select a flow rate in the range from 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec, or within the other ranges set forth above. In an exemplary embodiment of the dispenser, the container comprises a cylinder, the adjustable flow regulator comprises a turnable cap at one end of the cylinder, and the outlet comprises a nozzle in the cap. The regulator may be turned to open the dispenser and initiate a flow of the carbon dioxide or other therapeutic gas. By then appropriately turning the cap, the flow rate can be adjusted to the user’s preferred rate, and the outlet then inserted into or around the appropriate patient’s orifice, in order to initiate infusion according to the methods described above.
“In a further aspect, dispensers of the present invention for delivering carbon dioxide to a patient comprise a container holding a volume of carbon dioxide under pressure. A flow regulator is provided on the container and releases a flow of carbon dioxide from the container at a rate in the range front 1 cc/sec to 20 cc/sec. Preferably, the dispenser further comprises an outlet, where the outlet may be adapted to seal against a human orifice. Usually, the carbon dioxide will be substantially pure, although in other cases may be present in a carrier gas or liquid or in combination with other active or non-active substances. In certain particular embodiments, the carbon dioxide is present in the container as a liquid, wherein relatively large volumes of carbon dioxide can be stored. In other instances, the carbon dioxide will be present in the container as a pressurized gas. While the latter dispensers will hold less carbon dioxide, they do not need to be as sturdy as the containers that hold liquid carbon dioxide at much higher pressures. Preferably, the flow regulators will be adjustable to set points within the flow rate range.
“In yet another aspect, kits according to the present invention comprise a container holding a therapeutic gas and instructions for use setting forth any of the methods described above for delivering the gas to a patient. The container may comprise any of the preferred dispensers described above, and the instructions for use and container will usually be packaged together in a conventional medical device package, such as a tube, tray, pouch, box, or the like.”
For the URL and additional information on this patent, see: Rasor, Ned S.; Rasor, Julia S.. Methods for Treating Allergy. U.S. Patent Number 8763604, filed November 26, 2012, and published online on July 1, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=\%2Fnetahtml\%2FPTO\%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=8763604.PN.&OS=PN/8763604RS=PN/8763604
Keywords for this news article include: Therapy, Chemicals, Chemistry, Chalcogens, Capnia Inc., Nitric Oxide, Carbon Dioxide, Nitrogen Oxides, Reactive Nitrogen Species, Inorganic Carbon Compounds.
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Patent Issued for Methods for Treating Allergy
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Life Science Weekly — Capnia, Inc. (Palo Alto, CA) has been issued patent number 8763604, according to news reporting originating out of Alexandria, Virginia, by NewsRx editors (see also Capnia, Inc.).