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.

Related Articles


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 February 1, 2015 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 February 1, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

Hikers Rescued After Fall from Oregon Mountain

AP (Feb. 1, 2015) Two climbers who were hurt in a fall on Mount Hood are now being treated for their injuries. Rescue officials say they were airlifted off the mountain Saturday afternoon by an Oregon National Guard helicopter. (Feb. 2) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Smart Glasses Augment Reality to Help Visually Impaired

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Feb. 1, 2015) New augmented reality smart glasses developed by researchers at Oxford University can help people with visual impairments improve their vision by providing depth-based feedback, allowing users to "see" better. Joel Flynn reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Flu Season Hitting Elderly Hard

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 31, 2015) The CDC says this year&apos;s flu season is hitting people 65 years of age and older especially hard. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

CDC: Get Vaccinated for Measles

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) The CDC is urging people to get vaccinated for measles amid an outbreak that began at Disneyland and has now infected more than 90 people. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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