State of the art session: Sleep and breathing disorders
Dyspnoea, brain and sleep disorders
Aims : Breathlessness debilitates millions of people with chronic illness and is an “all-consuming and life-changing” experience that is subjective and intensely personal and associates with profound fear. It is the primary symptom in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The severity of breathlessness is frequently discordant with airway pathophysiology. Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a disorder of breathing during sleep that temporarily reduces cerebral oxygenation and disrupts sleep. A growing body of research shows that OSA associates with a relatively consistent pattern of deficits in cognition, particularly in attention, episodic memory and executive function. These deficits can be partially remediated by treatment. Despite a number of competing hypotheses that explain how OSA affects cognition, reliable evidence is hard to find. This may relate to the many conditions that are commonly comorbid with OSA or to the methodological challenges in this field. This state of the art session will elucidate the intimate relationship between the brain and the breathing “disorders” in chronic respiratory conditions.