Xiangrong Shi, PhD
Institute for Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders
University of North Texas Health Science Center
Title: Intermittent Hypoxia – novel intervention for treatment of mild cognitive impairment.
Abstract: Short-duration exposures to low oxygen (10% O2) interspersed with room air (21% O2) breathing, or intermittent hypoxia (IH), stimulate cyclic responses of heart and lung function, and induces productions of neuroprotective growth/trophic factors that help improve brain health. The objective in this proposed research is to implement a 10-week IH program to improve cognitive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and mild Alzheimer’s disease (MAD). The specific aim is to demonstrate that improvement of cognitive function in MCI/MAD patients after IH conditioning is correlated with serum levels of neuroprotective growth/trophic factors (brain-derived neurotrophic factor, erythropoietin, and vascular endothelial growth factor), and is explained by optimized blood flow and oxygen supply to the brain at rest and during mental stress and physiological challenge. MCI/MAD patients recruited for the proposed research will be selected from a large group of participants who have been enrolled in the studies sponsored by the Texas Alzheimer’s Research and Care Consortium. Proposed follow-up observations after the IH treatment will allow assessing how improved brain health and heart function can slow, stop, or reverse cognitive impairment in these patients during aging process.