Brainstem Neuromodulation in Sleep Apnea

Type of project: Basic, Mind and Body

Principal Investigator: Dr. Silvia Pagliardini

Institutions Affiliated: University of Alberta

Student: Sudi Duan (UGRAD):

Awards funded to project: 1

Background: Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by loss of muscle tone in the tongue and airway, resulting in short periods of suffocation in sleep. Little is known about the neuromodulatory aspects of normal muscle tone in sleep, let alone abnormal conditions like sleep apnea. This project uses state of the art Optogenetics technology to explore the neural circuitry in sleep breathing.

Findings: This project is a currently funded project pending results.

Implications: Sleep apnea is currently treated with a bulky mechanical respirator that has limited success. The findings from this project could identify targets that would allow for the development of less-invasive treatments.