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Med Hypotheses. 1997 Jul;49(1):19-26.

Sporadic apnea: paradoxical transformation to eupnea by perturbations that inhibit inspiration.

Author information

1
Department of Medicine, St Elizabeth's Medical Center, Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA, USA. dpaydarf@opal.tufts.edu

Abstract

We speculate that sporadic apneas may be initiated and terminated by stochastic neural perturbations arising within or impinging upon the respiratory oscillator. A curious situation can then arise in which tiny perturbations that inhibit inspiration, paradoxically stimulate breathing. The plausibility of the hypothesis is supported by numerical analysis of a noisy attractor-cycle oscillator, and in studies of a preterm sleeping infant with sporadic apnea; low-level vibratory stimulation transformed the irregular apneic rhythm to eupnea.

PMID:
9247902
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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