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Oxygen therapy could prevent dementia in COPD patients


Oxygen therapy could prevent dementia in COPD patients
Ryan L. Hoiland, Centre for Heart, Lung and Vascular Health, School of Health and Exercise Sciences, University of British Columbia,  – Okanagan CampusKelowna, BC, Canada, and colleagues conducted the study to determine how oxygen therapy influences cerebral blood flow, cerebral oxygen delivery and neurovascular function in COPD patients.
For the study, the researchers used ultrasound to view and measure blood flow in the brain in these patients at rest, before and during delivery of this additional oxygen. The oxygen was delivered through the nasal passage for 20-30 minutes. In addition to testing blood flow in the brain, the authors also tested the link between brain activity and blood flow in the brain. Participants began this test with their eyes shut, having to open them and then read a standardized text. This task was designed to increase activity in the brain, and as a result brain blood flow was expected to increase to provide adequate oxygen supply. Ultrasound was used to measure the extent to which brain blood flow increased. Pairing these ultrasound measures with a measurement of blood oxygen levels allowed authors to estimate how much oxygen delivery to the brain increased during the eyes open reading test.

The research team found that blood flow and oxygen delivery to the brain was significantly increased during reading. This was due to blood vessels in the brain becoming dilated in response to the greater oxygen demand when the brain was active. It can thus be concluded that when COPD patients receive the additional oxygen it improves the function of blood vessels in their brain.

This study showed that providing extra oxygen improves the function of blood vessels in the brain by matching blood supply to the demands of the brain activity. However, COPD patients typically use this extra oxygen therapy throughout the day and for long periods of time, potentially years.

The study does not indicate the influence of long-term oxygen therapy on the function of blood vessels in the brain. Despite these potential limitations, this work has set the foundation for the researchers to investigate the biological systems that control oxygen delivery to the brain.

“Oxygen therapy improves cerebral oxygen delivery and neurovascular function in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients. This improvement in cerebral oxygen delivery and neurovascular function might provide a physiological link between oxygen therapy and a reduced risk of cerebrovascular disease (e.g. stroke, mild cognitive impairment , nd dementia) in COPD,” concluded the study.

For further information follow the link: https://doi.org/10.1113/EP086994


Source: With inputs from Experimental Physiology

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