Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Researchers Get To The Heart Of Sleep Disorders

Date:
February 4, 1999
Source:
University Of Warwick
Summary:
Using sophisticated analysis of heart rate information, researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a way to diagnose sleep disorders that replaces the detailed and expensive medical investigations currently used.

Using sophisticated analysis of heart rate information, researchers at the University of Warwick have devised a way to diagnose sleep disorders that replaces the detailed and expensive medical investigations currently used.

The number of patients coming forward with sleeping disorders is increasing. Birmingham Heartlands Hospital alone dealt with over 400 sleep disorder cases in the last year. The main problem is sleep apnoea which means “stopping breathing during sleep”. This can occur up to 300 times in one night. Consequences of sleep apnoea include extreme daytime sleepiness, which can result in loss of jobs and even cause road traffic accidents. People who have sleep apnoea are more likely to suffer high blood pressure and die from heart attacks. Most sleep disorder patients can only be diagnosed after a complicated procedure known as polysomnography, for which patients are admitted to hospital overnight. Whilst asleep, they are tested by an array of instruments measuring individual leg and eye movements, electrocardiograms (ECGs), brain waves, chest movements, oxygen level in the blood, snoring and air flow through the nose and mouth.

Every time a sleep apnoea sufferer stops breathing and subsequently awakes, the heart rate is affected. However, doctors have not so far used this heart rate effect as a diagnostic tool for two reasons. Firstly, healthy hearts do not have an entirely regular heart rate, preventing detailed analysis until now. Secondly, the wide variation across patients in the intensity of sleep apnoea means that it is impossible to decide on a simple single quantitative measure to look for when examining ECGs of heart activity. Now researchers at the University of Warwick, working in a cross departmental research group applying mathematical techniques to medical problems, have devised a single analysis of the heart rate which will greatly reduce the time - consuming and expensive polysomnography procedure.

The researchers have combined their knowledge to use mathematical tools to cope with the heart's irregular rate and the wide variation in the effects of sleep apnoea on the heart rate.

They experimented with the application of two mathematical concepts - the Non-equispaced Fourier Transform, and the Discrete Harmonic Wavelet Transform - to the ECGs of 20 sleep apnoea patients and 20 normal subjects. They discovered that by using these tools they could indeed simply diagnose sleep apnoea from the ECG alone. The advantages of this new technique include:

* The ECG data can be analysed in just 20 minutes. Polysomnography data takes 4 - 6 hours.

* A patient can take a portable ECG monitor home. They do not need to be admitted to hospital.

* The technique will allow non - sleep specialist doctors looking at ECGs of patients to diagnose sleep apnoea, even if they were using the ECG to look at other conditions.

The team are now looking at the effect of other conditions on heart rate and believe they can refine the process for application to other heart conditions, asthma and diabetes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Warwick. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Warwick. "Researchers Get To The Heart Of Sleep Disorders." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990204081617.htm>.
University Of Warwick. (1999, February 4). Researchers Get To The Heart Of Sleep Disorders. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990204081617.htm
University Of Warwick. "Researchers Get To The Heart Of Sleep Disorders." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990204081617.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

West Africa Gripped by Deadly Ebola Outbreak

AFP (July 28, 2014) The worst-ever outbreak of the deadly Ebola epidemic grips west Africa, killing hundreds. Duration: 00:48 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Google's Next Frontier: The Human Body

Newsy (July 27, 2014) Google is collecting genetic and molecular information to paint a picture of the perfectly healthy human. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins