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Ventilation clinical trials at UCSD
1 in progress, 1 open to new patients

  • Effects of Melatonin on Sleep, Ventilatory Control and Cognition at Altitude.

    open to eligible people ages 18-65

    Low oxygen at altitude causes pauses in breathing during sleep, called central sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea causes repeated awakenings and poor sleep. Low oxygen itself and the induced oxidative stress can damage mental function which is likely worsened by poor sleep. Reduced mental function due to low oxygen can pose a serious danger to mountain climbers. However there is also mounting evidence that even in populations of people that live at high altitudes and are considered adapted, low oxygen contributes to reductions in learning and memory. Therefore there is a serious need for treatments which may improve sleep, control of breathing and mental function during low oxygen. Melatonin is a hormone produced in the brain during the night which regulates sleep patterns with strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. A study previously reported that melatonin taken 90 mins before bed at 4,300 m (14,200 ft) induced sleep earlier, reduced awakenings and improved mental performance the following day. However how melatonin caused these effects was not determined. Therefore this study aims to determine how melatonin effects control of breathing, sleep and mental performance during exposure to low oxygen.

    San Diego, California