Tipping points, critical transitions, and bifurcations: Are "generic early-warning signals" applicable to medicine?
January 27, 2016 -
2:00pm to 3:00pm
Recent work from Marten Scheffer and colleagues has made bold claims.
"Complex dynamical systems, ranging from ecosystems to financial markets and the climate, can have tipping points at which a sudden shift to a contrasting dynamical regime may occur . Although predicting such critical points before they are reached is extremely difficult, work in different scientific fields is now suggesting the existence of generic early-warning signals that may indicate for a wide class of systems if a critical threshold is approaching." In a paper, now in Press in Critical Care Medicine, Scheffer and colleagues (including me) argue that these results may be applicable in medicine . I will discuss this work from the context of my own interest in bifurcations, problems associated with alternans rhythms , and transition to and risk stratification for sudden cardiac death.
 "Early-warning signals for critical transitions" Nature 461, 53 (2009) by Marten Scheffer et al.
 "Slowing down of recovery as generic risk marker for acute transitions in chronic diseases" by Olde-Rikkert et al. Critical Care Medicine (2016)
 "Predicting the onset of period-doubling bifurcations in noisy cardiac systems" T. Quail, A. Shrier, L. Glass, PNAS 112, 9358-9363 (2015)