Neurophysiology Research

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Short Communication - Neurophysiology Research (2023) Volume 5, Issue 3

Neurological basis of autonomic disorders, insights and therapeutic approaches

Olivia Myers*

Department of Psychology and Centre for Ageing, Cognition, and Wellbeing, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.

*Corresponding Author:
Olivia Myers
Department of Psychology and Centre for Ageing
Cognition, and Wellbeing
Macquarie University
Sydney, Australia

Received: 24-May-2023, Manuscript No. AANR-23-103852; Editor assigned: 26-May-2023, PreQC No. AANR-23-103852(PQ); Reviewed: 09-Jun-2023, QC No. AANR-23-103852; Revised: 12-Jun-2023, Manuscript No. AANR-23-103852(R); Published: 19-Jun-2023, DOI: 10.35841/aanr-5.3.149

Citation: Myers O. Neurological basis of autonomic disorders, insights and therapeutic approaches. Neurophysiol Res. 2023; 5(3):149

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Autonomic disorders refer to a group of conditions that affect the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which is responsible for regulating many involuntary bodily functions. The ANS controls various processes such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, respiration, body temperature, and the release of hormones. When the ANS malfunctions, it can lead to disruptions in these processes and result in autonomic disorders. The neurological basis of autonomic disorders involves abnormalities or dysfunctions in the structures, pathways, and neurotransmitters that regulate the autonomic nervous system. Several factors can contribute to the development of these disorders, including genetic predisposition, environmental influences, and underlying medical conditions [1].

The autonomic nervous system plays a crucial role in regulating various bodily functions such as heart rate, blood pressure, digestion, and temperature control. Autonomic disorders refer to a group of conditions characterized by dysfunction or imbalance in the autonomic nervous system. These disorders can arise from a variety of neurological mechanisms, leading to a range of symptoms and complications. Understanding the neurological basis of autonomic disorders is essential for accurate diagnosis and effective therapeutic approaches. This article aims to explore the insights into the neurological basis of autonomic disorders and discuss the current therapeutic approaches in managing these conditions [2].

Autonomic disorders can stem from dysfunction at various levels of the nervous system. At the central nervous system level, disruptions in the brain regions responsible for autonomic regulation, such as the hypothalamus or brainstem, can lead to dysregulation of autonomic functions. Conditions like Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) and Parkinson's disease (PD) involve degeneration of these key regions, resulting in autonomic dysfunction.

Furthermore, peripheral neuropathies can also give rise to autonomic disorders. Damage to the peripheral nerves, particularly small nerve fibres, can disrupt the transmission of autonomic signals. Small fiber neuropathy, for example, is often associated with autonomic symptoms such as orthostatic hypotension, gastrointestinal dysmotility, and impaired sweating.

Medications targeting specific neurotransmitters or receptors involved in autonomic regulation can be used to manage autonomic disorders. For instance, medications that enhance noradrenergic transmission, such as midodrine, can help alleviate symptoms of orthostatic hypotension. Similarly, drugs targeting cholinergic receptors can be used to manage symptoms of excessive sweating or gastrointestinal dysmotility [3].

Non-drug therapies also play a significant role in the management of autonomic disorders. Physical interventions like exercise and physical therapy can help improve autonomic function and overall cardiovascular health. Lifestyle modifications such as maintaining adequate hydration, avoiding triggers, and managing stress levels can also contribute to symptom management [4]. Deep brain stimulation is a neurosurgical technique that involves implanting electrodes in specific brain regions to modulate abnormal neural activity. DBS has shown promising results in managing autonomic symptoms associated with conditions like Parkinson's disease and dystonia. By precisely targeting and stimulating affected brain areas, DBS can help restore autonomic balance and improve quality of life.

Biofeedback techniques allow individuals to gain conscious control over certain physiological processes. Through the use of sensors and monitoring devices, patients can learn to regulate autonomic functions such as heart rate variability, blood pressure, and skin temperature. Behavioural therapies, including Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), can also help patients develop coping strategies and reduce anxiety associated with autonomic symptoms [5].


Neurological mechanisms underlie the development of autonomic disorders, and understanding these mechanisms is crucial for effective diagnosis and management. From dysfunction at the central nervous system level to peripheral neuropathies, a range of neurological factors can contribute to autonomic dysfunction. Current therapeutic approaches encompass pharmacological interventions, nonpharmacological interventions, deep brain stimulation, and behavioural therapies. With ongoing research and advancements in neuroscience, the understanding and management of autonomic disorders continue to evolve, providing hope for improved outcomes and quality of life for individuals affected by these conditions.


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