More than 200 healthcare professionals and students explored he overlap between animal and human health at the Zoobiquity 6 Conference, reports PhillyVoice.
One pair of researchers – a veterinarian and a physician, both from Penn – described their collaborative work in both bulldogs and humans on sleep apnea, a serious disorder characterized by intermittent breathing during sleep. It can prevent a good night’s rest as the body abruptly and repeatedly wakes up in a struggle for oxygen, causing daytime drowsiness and straining the cardiovascular system.
“The critical part in all of this is that, working as a team, we really can find therapies that are reliable and safe for both species, and probably a few others as well,” said Sigrid Veasey, a sleep apnea researcher and professor at the Perelman School of Medicine. She teamed up with Joan Hendricks, the Gilbert S. Kahn Dean at Penn Vet, to see what sorts of insights for human patients they could gain from studying bulldogs, a breed commonly prone to sleep apnea.