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Dr Melissa Farnham has been awarded a Project Grant by the Rebecca L Cooper Foundation for her research investigating the role of the brain in the development of cardiometabolic diseases in people with obstructive sleep apnoea.

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a highly prevalent condition characterised by intermittent episodes of hypoxia (deprivation of oxygen to the brain) during sleep.

People with OSA are extremely likely to also have high blood pressure and diabetes, both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease,” Dr Farnham states.

“Only some patients with OSA benefit from current treatments and many are at risk of life-threatening heart attacks or stroke.”

Dr Farnham’s project ‘Is a brain peptide sympathetically driving cardio-metabolic dysfunction following intermittent hypoxia?’ focuses on how intermittent stimulation of brain circuits regulate blood glucose and blood pressure.

It would open the exciting possibility of complementing current treatment with a new therapeutic strategy to manage disease progression,” says Dr Farnham.

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