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Handb Clin Neurol


Neurological effects of respiratory dysfunction.


Holla VV, Prasad S, Pal P K
Handb Clin Neurol. 2022; 189:309-329.
PMID: 36031312.


The respiratory and the nervous systems are closely interconnected and are maintained in a fine balance. Central mechanisms maintain strict control of ventilation due to the high metabolic demands of brain which depends on a continuous supply of oxygenated blood along with glucose. Moreover, brain perfusion is highly sensitive to changes in the partial pressures of carbon dioxide and oxygen in blood, which in turn depend on respiratory function. Ventilatory control is strictly monitored and regulated by the central nervous system through central and peripheral chemoreceptors, baroreceptors, the cardiovascular system, and the autonomic nervous system. Disruption in this delicate control of respiratory function can have subtle to devastating neurological effects as a result of ensuing hypoxia or hypercapnia. In addition, pulmonary circulation receives entire cardiac output and this may act as a conduit to transmit infections and also for metastasis of malignancies to brain resulting in neurological dysfunction. Furthermore, many neurological paraneoplastic syndromes can have underlying lung malignancies resulting in respiratory dysfunction. It is essential to understand the underlying mechanisms and the resulting manifestations in order to prevent and effectively manage the many neurological effects of respiratory dysfunction. This chapter explores the various neurological effects of respiratory dysfunction with focus on their pathophysiology, etiologies, clinical features and long-term neurological sequelae.