Breaking News
October 22, 2018 - Targeting specific genomic mutation in breast cancer improves survival
October 22, 2018 - Loss of tumor protein p53 helps cancer cells grow in hostile environment
October 22, 2018 - IDT to demonstrate CRISPR expertise at European-focused events
October 22, 2018 - Breathing through the nose improves memory consolidation
October 22, 2018 - Recreational Marijuana Now Legal in Canada
October 22, 2018 - Scientists reveal drumming helps schoolchildren diagnosed with autism
October 22, 2018 - A stage IV cancer patient discusses what it means to live well with serious illness
October 22, 2018 - In Kids with Autism, Short Questionnaire May Detect GI Disorders
October 22, 2018 - Merck presents MK-1454 Phase 1 data for treatment of advanced solid tumors or lymphomas
October 22, 2018 - Aspirin may be effective in preventing blood clots after knee replacement
October 22, 2018 - Gilead Sciences presents Phase 3 results of filgotinib in biologic-experienced rheumatoid arthritis at 2018 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting
October 22, 2018 - Immunotherapy with pembrolizumab extends survival in metastatic or recurrent head and neck cancer
October 22, 2018 - Health Tip: Keep Ticks Away
October 22, 2018 - Obsessive-compulsive disorder – Genetics Home Reference
October 22, 2018 - Researchers find disrupted functional connectivity in cerebellum of adults with HF-ASD
October 22, 2018 - Deciphera presents Phase 1 clinical results of DCC-2618 in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors
October 22, 2018 - Combination of Opdivo and Yervoy shows four-year survival benefits in patients with advanced melanoma
October 22, 2018 - Overcoming bottlenecks in early drug discovery with the power of sound
October 22, 2018 - Scientists discover genes that contribute to ADHD development
October 22, 2018 - Incyte announces Phase 2 FIGHT-202 trial data in patients with cholangiocarcinoma
October 22, 2018 - FDA approves update to Rituxan label to include information on treatment of rare forms of vasculitis
October 22, 2018 - At-home biofeedback therapy effective in relieving difficult-to-treat constipation
October 22, 2018 - Merck presents KEYNOTE-057 trial results for patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer
October 22, 2018 - People with periodontal disease less likely to reach healthy blood pressure ranges
October 22, 2018 - Phase III LONSURF study shows progression-free survival in patients with refractory metastatic gastric cancer
October 22, 2018 - Primary care doctors ‘not doing enough’ to curb STDs
October 22, 2018 - Pfizer announces PALOMA-3 trial results in patients with HR+, HER2- metastatic breast cancer
October 22, 2018 - ImmunoGen announces study results of platinum-resistant ovarian cancer therapy at ESMO 2018 Congress
October 22, 2018 - Study findings could set new standard of care for advanced anal cancer
October 22, 2018 - Erlotinib improves progression-free survival in EGFR mutated NSCLC
October 22, 2018 - Pain, insomnia, and depression often drive osteoarthritis patients to seek medical care
October 22, 2018 - The International Society of Refractive Surgery honors Vivior Chairman with Casebeer Award
October 22, 2018 - Multi-strain probiotic helps reduce chemotherapy-induced diarrhea in cancer patients
October 22, 2018 - Study shows potential of avelumab plus axitinib as new treatment option for patients with advanced RCC
October 22, 2018 - Vertex gets European CHMP positive opinion for KALYDECO to treat patients with cystic fibrosis
October 22, 2018 - Phase III trial reports positive results with HDAC inhibitor in advanced breast cancer patients
October 22, 2018 - Prostate radiotherapy improves survival in men with low burden of metastatic disease
October 22, 2018 - Duration of respiratory disturbances may better predict mortality risk from OSA
October 22, 2018 - Free phone app helps low-income obese patients to lose weight
October 22, 2018 - Immunotherapy with nivolumab and ipilimumab may improve survival in patients with MSI-high metastatic colorectal cancers
October 22, 2018 - FOTIVDA expected to be included in new ESMO guidelines for advanced renal cell carcinoma
October 22, 2018 - Compression Collar May Protect Brain of Female Soccer Players
October 22, 2018 - Technique visualizes neuron communication
October 22, 2018 - Advancement in medical imaging methods for health care
October 22, 2018 - Takeda presents vedolizumab phase 3 VISIBLE 1 trial results for treatment of moderately to severely active ulcerative colitis
October 22, 2018 - Immunotherapy increases survival in some patients with metastatic triple negative breast cancer
October 22, 2018 - Exelixis presents CABOSUN and METEOR trial results in patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma
October 22, 2018 - LYNPARZA Phase III SOLO-1 results show improved outcome for patients with advanced BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer
October 22, 2018 - Brainlab unveils ExacTrac Dynamic at ASTRO meeting in San Antonio, Texas
October 22, 2018 - Not exercising is worse than smoking, diabetes or heart disease finds study
October 22, 2018 - Shorter course of trastuzumab could be an option for women with HER2+ early breast cancer
October 22, 2018 - Map of Mouse Hippocampus Could Be Weapon Against Alzheimer’s
October 22, 2018 - Psychotropic polypharmacy is common in Alzheimer’s disease
October 22, 2018 - Texas A&M and UTA establish Texas Genomics Core Alliance
October 22, 2018 - Analyzing mouse’s potential as animal model of decision-making
October 22, 2018 - Radiotherapy can prolong survival in prostate cancer
October 22, 2018 - A genetic mutation involved in relapse
October 21, 2018 - Report reveals growing impact of cannabis on young people
October 21, 2018 - NSF awards $5 million grant to help scientists magnify societal impact of research
October 21, 2018 - Fertility Rates Down for Each Urbanization Level 2007 to 2017
October 21, 2018 - Genetically engineered 3-D human muscle transplant in a murine model
October 21, 2018 - Moms’ tight work schedules may affect their children’s sleep
October 21, 2018 - AHA: No Direct Link Between Preeclampsia and Cognitive Impairment, Study Finds
October 21, 2018 - Weight loss success linked with active self-control regions of the brain
October 21, 2018 - Scripps researchers successfully test potential new smoking-cessation treatment in rodents
October 21, 2018 - More accurate and less stressful way to measure a baby’s heartbeat
October 21, 2018 - Researchers show better cardiorespiratory fitness leads to longer life
October 21, 2018 - Healthy candies for diabetic patients
October 21, 2018 - Environment impact of microplastics remains unclear
October 21, 2018 - Antibiotics for appendicitis? Surgery often not needed
October 21, 2018 - AHA and AMA recognize more than 800 medical practices, health systems for blood pressure control
October 21, 2018 - Scientists obtain clearest ever image of Ebola virus protein
October 21, 2018 - Study reveals connection between two proteins known to be hyperactive in cancer
October 21, 2018 - Gabapentin Beats Pregabalin for Chronic Sciatica
October 21, 2018 - Cosmetic surgeons offering incomplete information for breast augmentation customers
October 21, 2018 - Chronic sleep disruption in early adult life accelerates AD-related tau pathology
October 21, 2018 - Take 10 for Mindfulness – Drugs.com MedNews
October 21, 2018 - Length of breathing disruption in OSA may be better predictor of mortality risk
October 21, 2018 - ApoE4 gene linked with chronic inflammation increases risk for Alzheimer’s disease
October 21, 2018 - Mother-daughter conflict associated with suicide risk in abused adolescent girls
Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea

Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print
Breath-taking research: Throat reflexes differ in people with tetraplegia and sleep apnea
A) Transporting participants from the hospital to the test room. B) JV in the test room. Credit: Wijesuriya et al.

New research published in The Journal of Physiology has indicated why people with paralysis of their limbs and torso are more likely to suffer from sleep apnoea. This knowledge could be used to develop much-need targeted therapies.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a sleep disorder in which the upper airway (ranging from the back of the nose to the to the throat area) narrows and closes repetitively during sleep. This can result in major sleep disruption and serious health consequences, including increased risk of high blood pressure and diabetes. In people with tetraplegia, which is paralysis caused by illness or injury that results in the partial or total loss of use of all four limbs and torso, the rate of OSA is over 70%. Currently, the reasons for this particularly high rate are unknown. The development of new therapies could potentially have a large positive impact on health and quality of life.

This new research sought to understand the way throat muscles react in those with tetraplegia and sleep apnoea. This will help discern why obstructive sleep apnoea is so prevalent in individuals with tetraplegia. Volunteers with OSA (with and without tetraplegia) were studied in sleep physiology laboratories in Sydney (NeuRA) and Melbourne (IBAS). Brief pulses of suction were delivered to participants via a breathing mask to simulate the airway narrowing characteristic of OSA, with electrodes inserted into the largest muscle surrounding the upper airway, genioglossus, enabling the measurement of key reflex responses.

It was expected that the reflexes would be similar for all those with OSA, whether they were tetraplegic or not, as it was believed that they only involved processes above the injury site. However, this study showed that in several cases of individuals with tetraplegia and sleep apnoea, key protective throat reflexes were absent, or indeed led to the switching off (instead of activation) of the genioglossus muscle. These findings help to explain why OSA is so common in those with tetraplegia and sleep apnoea.

Due to the fact that this research was conducted in wakefulness and not sleep, the researchers cannot be certain that their findings translate to sleep. Regardless, their observations provide valuable insight into upper airway reflex responses, and pave the way for future physiological sleep reflex studies looking to develop effective and tolerable targeted therapies for those with tetraplegia and sleep apnoea.

Laura Gainche, one of the research investigators, commended the resilience, optimism, tolerance and willingness of all the research’s volunteers, characterised especially by their first participant, JV, who sustained his spinal injury aged 16:

“We were worried that nobody would take part in our long, tedious protocol. However, he just brushed it off like it was nothing: “a 2mm wide catheter in the nose? What a joke compared to the feeding tubes I had before”!

“The experimental day was intense to say the least; six people wheeled his bed up a steep slope to a test room about 100m away from the main hospital. Somehow we made it through the lengthy protocol together, and it was mostly thanks to him, our first rockstar patient! These participants gave us confidence that this project was feasible, and in the future the data produced will hopefully make their lives a tiny bit easier”.


Explore further:
The airways of people with sleep apnoea collapse much more quickly than previously thought

More information:
Nirupama S. Wijesuriya et al, Genioglossus reflex responses to negative upper airway pressure are altered in people with tetraplegia and obstructive sleep apnoea, The Journal of Physiology (2018). DOI: 10.1113/JP275222

Journal reference:
Journal of Physiology

Provided by:
The Physiological Society

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles