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MRC Prion Unit
From fundamental research to prevention and cure


Difficulties with breathing often occurs end stage. The patient may be unable to manage his or her own saliva. This may lead to choking or noisy breathing, which is particularly distressing for their families to watch. The nursing team at the NPC are able to provide advice on symptomatic management.

People with prion disease often experience difficulty withinspiration and/or expiration that does not provide adequate ventilation

Respiratory pattern monitoring addresses the patient’s ventilatory pattern, rate, and depth. Most acute pulmonary deterioration is preceded by a change in breathing pattern. Respiratory failure can be seen with a change in respiratory rate, change in normal abdominal and thoracic patterns for inspiration and expiration, change in depth of ventilation (Vt), and respiratory alternant. Breathing pattern changes may occur in a multitude of cases.

MRC Prion News