The link between ageing and sleep disruption and their impact on cardiorespiratory control

Pugh, Keith (2014). The link between ageing and sleep disruption and their impact on cardiorespiratory control. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.


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Research has suggested that a reduction in respiratory chemosensitivity with age could be linked with a greater occurrence of sleep disordered breathing (SDB) in elders. However, it remains unclear whether this reduction is mediated by the central or peripheral chemoreceptors. Study 1 used a novel approach with a multi frequency binary sequence test to demonstrate a reduction in central chemosensitivity with age. Ageing is also associated with a fragmentation of sleep and sleep loss. Studies 2 and 3 demonstrated attenuations in central chemosensitivity following three consecutive nights of sleep loss and a night of sleep fragmentation, respectively. These alterations in chemosensitivity were similar in nature to those shown in study 1. These comparable observations and a possible mutual mechanism for them, led to the novel conclusion that age associated sleep disruption may contribute to the changes in chemosensitivity seen in older individuals. These findings may have a bearing on the development of SDB in the older generation. Lastly, pulmonary hypertension can occur in tangent with SDB and research has suggested that its occurrence is greater in older individuals suffering from SDB. Study 4 demonstrates a possible mechanism for this association, in a greater hypoxic pulmonary vasoconstriction response in older individuals.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology


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