Navigation Links
Brain can learn to overcome sleep apnea: U of T scientist

TORONTO, ON New research from the University of Toronto could provide some restful nights for the 18 million North Americans who suffer from obstructive sleep apnea.

In a recent study that appeared in the Journal of Neuroscience, scientists from the University demonstrated that repeated obstruction of the airways requires release of the brain chemical noradrenaline. The release of this chemical helps the brain learn to breathe more effectively and purposefully.

"What we showed is that repeated disruption of normal lung activity what happens during sleep apnea triggers a form of learning that helps you breathe better. This type of brain plasticity could be harnessed to help overcome the breathing insufficiency that typifies sleep apnea" says Dr. John Peever, Associate Professor of neuroscience and lead author of the study.

In order to mimic the experience of severe sleep apnea, the scientists induced short 15 second apneas in sedated rats by repeatedly restricting airflow into the lungs. They found repeated apneas caused the brain to progressively trigger more forceful contraction of the respiratory muscles, which caused an increase in breathing. This increase in breathing lasted for over an hour.

Peever says it seems the brain is using the unwanted side-effects of sleep apnea to help it learn to prevent future apneas by increasing the depth of breathing.

This study also pinpointed the brain chemical that allows this type of plasticity to occur. They found that noradrenaline is required in the case of repeated apneas to cause brain plasticity and enhance breathing.

These findings are important because they suggest that artificial manipulation with common drugs that affect noradrenaline levels in the brain could also help improve breathing in patients suffering from sleep apnea. This work could serve as the potential basis for developing the long sought after pill for sleep apnea.


Contact: Michael Kennedy
University of Toronto

Page: 1

Related biology news :

1. Learn more quickly by transcranial magnetic brain stimulation
2. Conversion of brain tumor cells into blood vessels thwarts treatment efforts
3. New molecule could save brain cells from neurodegeneration, stroke
4. Reducing diet early in pregnancy stunts fetal brain development
5. New technique to see neurons of the deep brain for months at a time developed at Stanford
6. LCD projector used to control brain and muscles of tiny organisms such as worms
7. Researchers show how Alzheimers plaques lead to loss of nitric oxide in brain
8. New book highlights the cellular and molecular determinants of brain wiring
9. Major advance in MRI allows much faster brain scans
10. UTHealth studies cord blood stem cells for pediatric traumatic brain injury
11. Some brain tumors mimic the genetic program of germline cells
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/20/2016)... Securus Technologies, a leading provider of ... safety, investigation, corrections and monitoring announced that after ... secured the final acceptance by all three (3) ... Systems (MAS) installed. Furthermore, Securus will have contracts ... by October, 2016. MAS distinguishes between legitimate wireless ...
(Date:6/9/2016)... , June 9, 2016 ... Police deploy Teleste,s video security solution to ensure the safety ... France during the major tournament Teleste, ... communications systems and services, announced today that its video security ... to back up public safety across the country. ...
(Date:6/2/2016)... YORK , June 2, 2016   The Weather ... is announcing Watson Ads, an industry-first capability in which consumers ... by being able to ask questions via voice or text ... Marketers have long sought ... the consumer, that can be personal, relevant and valuable; and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers and fluorometers use ... 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional z-dimension of 20mm. ... from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has developed several Agilent ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... 23, 2016   Boston Biomedical , an ... designed to target cancer stemness pathways, announced that ... Orphan Drug Designation from the U.S. Food and ... cancer, including gastroesophageal junction (GEJ) cancer. Napabucasin is ... inhibit cancer stemness pathways by targeting STAT3, and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... Plate® YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval ... of microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... launch of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the ... future of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , ...
Breaking Biology Technology: