Acute Intermittent Hypoxia and Breathing in Neuromuscular Disease

Study Purpose:

This project seeks to investigate the effects of a single acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) session on respiratory and non-respiratory motor function and EMG (electromyography) activity on patients with ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) and healthy controls.


Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS),  Familial ALS,  Sporadic ALS, Healthy Volunteer, Healthy Volunteer with a Family History of ALS

Study Type:

Interventional Trial

Study Category:

Study Status:



Not Applicable

Study Chair(s)/Principal Investigator(s):

Barbara K Smith, PT, PhD, University of Florida ID (11 digit #):


Neals Affiliated?


Coordinating Center Contact Information

University of Florida
Barbara K Smith, PT, PhD / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 352-294-5315
Jessica Ehrbar, MS / .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) / 352-273-6855
Gainesville, Florida 32611 United States

Full Study Summary:

Most ALS patients survive less than 5 years after diagnosis, and the main cause of death is respiratory failure. The investigators are interested in the therapeutic potential of acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) for individuals with neuromuscular diseases, such as ALS. More than two decades of research indicates AIH elicits meaningful respiratory and non-respiratory motor recovery. Acute intermittent hypoxia (AIH) consists of alternating periods of breathing mildly hypoxic (lowered oxygen concentration) and normoxic (normal oxygen concentration) air.

The investigators propose to study mechanisms of respiratory plasticity associated with a single presentation of mild AIH. The fundamental hypothesis guiding this proposal is that even a single AIH trial improves respiratory (and non-respiratory) motor function in ALS patients procedure. Participants will then be asked to breathe air with reduced oxygen for short periods of time, for a duration of 45 minutes. The activity of your muscles and your heart function will be monitored throughout the procedure.

Study Sponsor:

University of Florida

Participant Duration:

Estimated Enrollment:


Estimated Study Start Date:


Estimated Study Completion Date:


Posting Last Modified Date:


Date Study Added to

  • Eligibility Criteria


    Female, Male

    Minimum Age:


    Maximum Age:


    Min Vital Capacity (% predicted normal):


    Time since Symptom Onset:

    Time since Diagnosis:

    Can participants use Riluzole?


    Inclusion Criteria:

    a healthy adult
    clinical diagnosis of ALS
    baseline FVC >50% predicted for age, sex and height.

    Exclusion Criteria:

    diagnosed cardiovascular disease
    a BMI >30 kg/m2
    currently take selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
    history of seizures
    history of hospitalization for sepsis
    respiratory infection or took antibiotic medications within the past 4 weeks
    use external respiratory support during any waking hours
    participate in a pharmaceutical trial to treat ALS
    have any other medical condition the PI or medical director identify would make it unsuitable to participate.

  • Site Contact Information

    UF Clinical Research Center
    Gainesville, Florida 32610
    United States

    University of Florida
    Gainesville, Florida 32611
    United States