Andrea Ricciardiello

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Research Assistant

9399 1886


Andrea recently completed her honours research at the University of Technology Sydney looking into the effects of stress and emotion on physiology. In her current role in the Eckert team, she works on a number of projects specialising in sleep and upper airway physiology.

Projects Andrea Ricciardiello is currently involved with

CURRENT PROJECTS

Causes of sleep apnoea in people with and without multiple sclerosis (MS)

This project, sponsored by MS research Australia, focuses on sleep apnoea in people with multiple sclerosis (MS). Our recent study, amongst other studies, suggests that sleep apnoea rates are higher in people with MS. However little is known about the causes of sleep apnoea in people with MS and how they might be different from people without MS. This project involves a sleep study including physiological measurements to identify differences in the causes of sleep apnoea between people with and without MS.

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Causes of sleep apnoea in people with and without multiple sclerosis (MS)

The Effects of “Z Drugs” in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is a common disorder characterised by repetitive narrowing and collapse of the upper airway during sleep. It is associated with daytime sleepiness, neurocognitive impairment, and a variety of adverse cardiovascular consequences. The first line treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. If tolerated, CPAP is highly effective in reducing sleep disordered breathing events. However, up to 50% of OSA patients are unable to tolerate CPAP therapy leaving many OSA patients without treatment.

Previous studies indicate that in selected obstructive sleep apnea participants a standard dose of a z-drug can shift the threshold for awakening during sleep (arousal) whilst maintaining the upper airway muscle activity required to keep the airway open. This study aims to investigate the effects of different doses of sleeping pills (Z-drugs) on how easily people wake up when the airway narrows during sleep, the activity of a major muscle located under the tongue (genioglossus) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) severity and symptoms.

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The Effects of “Z Drugs” in People With Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Effects of Noradrenergic and Antimuscarinic agents on Sleep Apnoea Severity

Approximately 1/3 of all obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) patients have poor upper airway muscle activity during sleep which contributes to the repetitive narrowing or closure of the airway during sleep. This leads to abrupt arousals and disruption of sleep throughout the night which can lead to various health problems including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, high blood pressure, impaired cognitive function, decreased quality of life and patients are more likely to be involved in motor vehicular accidents.

Recent studies have found that combination of these noradrenergic and antimuscarinic agents help to improve upper airway muscle activity during sleep. Therefore, this clinical study will focus on determining the effects of these agents on the severity of sleep apnoea in OSA patients in hopes to improve treatment outcomes for OSA patients in the future. The study also aims to determine the effects of these combination of agents on cognitive alertness and other sleep parameters which are impaired in patients with OSA.

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Effects of Noradrenergic and Antimuscarinic agents on Sleep Apnoea Severity

Targeted Therapy for Sleep Apnoea: A Novel Personalised Approach

Obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) is characterised by the recurrent collapse or narrowing of the upper airway during sleep. OSA is also associated with adverse cardiovascular, metabolic, neurocognitive, quality of life and safety consequences. The first line treatment continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) which is highly efficacious but poorly tolerated. Oral mandibular advancement splint (MAS) therapy is the leading alternative to CPAP to treat obstructive sleep apnoea, although it is difficult to predict treatment success.

Therefore, this study aims to determine the efficacy of targeted therapeutic approaches to treat OSA whilst using novel techniques to advance knowledge of upper airway function and the mechanisms of a MAS device. We aim to develop accurate tools to predict treatment outcome with a MAS device, develop novel approaches to monitor and diagnose OSA. This study is a part of the government Cooperative Research Centre Program linking researchers and industry.

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Targeted Therapy for Sleep Apnoea: A Novel Personalised Approach

RESEARCH TEAM