Treatment of Orthostatic Hypotension in Autonomic Failure
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
The autonomic nervous system serves multiple regulatory functions in the body, including the
regulation of blood pressure and heart rate, gut motility, sweating and sexual function.
There are several diseases characterized by abnormal function of the autonomic nervous
system. Medications can also alter autonomic function. Impairment of the autonomic nervous
system by diseases or drugs may lead to several symptoms, including blood pressure problems
(e.g., high blood pressure lying down and low blood pressure on standing), sweating
abnormalities, constipation or diarrhea and sexual dysfunction. Because treatment options
for these patients are limited. We propose to study patients autonomic failure and low blood
pressure upon standing and determine the cause of their disease by history and examination
and their response to autonomic testing which have already been standardized in our
laboratory. Based on their possible cause, we will tests different medications that may
alleviate their symptoms.
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