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Categories of breathing abnormalities in Rett syndrome

The Forceful Breathers

These are patients with Rett syndrome who forcefully inhale and exhale air, sometimes continuously and would often lose a great deal of carbon dioxide from the bloodstream. Medical consequences are: Some of these patients may proceed into a hypocapnic attack. They are vulnerable to prolonged central apnoea (cessation of breathing) and tetany, which resembles epileptic stiffness of the limbs. These patients often exhaust their brainstems and a few of them may go into brainstem shutdown (the skin turns white and the body becomes floppy). Others may just have a prolonged cessation of breathing and become cyanosed (turn blue in the face, starting with the lips) or have very shallow breathings that are hard to notice. There are three breathing abnormalities in this category. They are: hyperventilation, tachypnoea and deep breathing. This breathing category does not respond to drug treatment, but may require physiological means of raising the level of carbon dioxide in the bloodstream back to normal.

The graphs & Videos were recorded using the NeuroScopeT system
Click here
to see the graph of The Forceful Breathers. Hypocapnic attack in forceful breathers

Click here to see the video of a Hypocapnic attack.

Click here to see the video of a Hypocapnic treatment.

:: The Apneustic Breathers

:: The Forceful Breathers

:: Valsalva's type of breathing

:: The Feeble Breathers

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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