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Brainstem dysfunctions in Rett syndrome

Brainstem Shutdown

Episodes of "Brainstem Shutdown" characterised by sudden drops of arterial blood pressure to the level usually seen in shocks caused by spinal cord injuries. This is associated with decreases in cardiac vagal tone and cardiac sensitivity to baroreflex to levels close to zero and the heart rate drifts towards the intrinsic pacemaker's rate indicating no nervous influences on the heart at that time. Rett patients with Valsalva's type of breathing and forceful breathers are predisposed to brainstem shutdown. The patient will look lifeless during the episode and can be worrying without proper diagnosis.

This graph was recorded using the NeuroScopeT system
ASBA with Screaming and Brainstem shutdown

:: Brainstem Shutdown

:: Brainstem Epilepsy

:: Non-epileptic vacant spells

Julu, P.O.O (2001). The central autonomic disturbance in Rett syndrome. In: Kerr, A. and Witt Engerstrom, I (eds) Rett Disorder and the Developing Brain. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp132-181.
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