Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Title

Journal of Physiology

PubMed ID



The Physiological Society


School of Medical and Health Sciences


This is an Authors Accepted Manuscript version of an article published by Wiley in The Journal of Physiology, at

Mesquita, R. N. (2022). Concurrent exposure to (acute intermittent) hypoxia and hypercapnia: A promising therapeutic cocktail for neuroplasticity?. The Journal of Physiology, 600(13), p. 3017-3019.


Pioneering experiments revealed that intermittent stimulation of afferent neurons from the carotid bodies elicits long-lasting increased activity of respiratory nerves, a phenomenon known as respiratory long-term facilitation (LTF). Initially observed with episodic electrical stimulation of the carotid sinus nerve, this phenomenon was then extensively demonstrated in rodent experiments via protocols of brief, episodic exposures to periods of hypoxia (i.e. acute intermittent hypoxia; AIH). Then, the realization that AIH could be used as a therapeutic modality to induce neuroplasticity and restore both respiratory and non-respiratory motor function in rats with spinal cord injuries (SCI) motivated translation to human studies. AIH has shown promise as a stand-alone or adjunct therapy to help people with incomplete SCI become stronger, breathe better and walk faster...



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