Vascular Control in Individuals with Autonomic Failure

22 feb 2011

The upright posture of humans greatly challenges the control of blood pressure regulation. The autonomic nervous system plays a principal role in the control of blood pressure regulation via changes in sympathetic nervous system activity. Baroreflex mediated increases in sympathetic nervous system activity leads to changes in heart rate, cardiac contractility and peripheral vascular resistance. Surprisingly, the changes in peripheral vascular resistance are scarcely studied. Therefore, the general aim of this thesis was to examine the role of the autonomic nervous system in a specific part of the blood pressure regulation, i.e. peripheral vascular control, in individuals with autonomic failure, with a special interest in individuals with a spinal cord lesion.