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 • Only instrument that quantifies the output of arterial baroreceptors
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 • The NeuroScope™ is now a text book method fore the diagnosis of Rett     Syndrome

Categories of breathing abnormalities in Rett syndrome

Valsalva's type of breathing

These are patients with Rett syndrome who try to forcefully breathe out after their glottises have closed off the upper airways. The end-result is an increase of pressure in the lungs and the chest. The increased thoracic pressure reduces blood flowing back into the heart and consequently excites the brainstem very violently. There are very large swings in the levels of cardiac vagal tone and baroreflex sensitivity. The NeuroScope™ measures these two brainstem functions simultaneously and in real-time. There are large changes in blood pressure too. Some patients in this category may perform Valsalva's type of breathing consecutively for a long time. Medical consequences are: Unsteadiness with wondering eyeballs due to dizziness. There may be transient changes in consciousness. Some patients may just stare into the abyss briefly. All these can be mistaken for seizure attacks. There are periodic changes in the electroencephalogram (EEG) coinciding with the severe drops in blood pressure in some of the Rett girls. This can be mistaken for abnormal changes in the EEG due to seizure disorders. Some of these patients may also exhaust their brainstems and enter into Brainstem Shutdown (the skin turns white and the body becomes floppy). This category of breathing does not respond to drug treatment and we are still looking for ways of influencing Valsalva's type of breathing in Rett syndrome. (Click here to see a Rett girl performing Valsalva's type of breathing).

This graph was recorded using the NeuroScopeT system
Click here to see the graph of Valsalva's type of breathing

:: 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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