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  • Dysautonomia is a term used to describe abnormal functioning of the autonomic nervous system

    Dysautonomia means dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system. Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system can produce the apparent malfunction of the organs it regulates. For this reason, dysautonomia patients often present with numerous, seemingly unrelated maladies.  

    Symptoms are wide ranging and can include problems with the regulation of heart rate, blood pressure, body temperature and perspiration. Other symptoms include fatigue, lightheadedness, feeling faint or passing out (syncope), weakness and cognitive impairment. 

    Autonomic dysfunction can occur as a secondary condition of another disease process, like diabetes, or as a primary disorder where the autonomic nervous system is the only system impacted. These conditions are often misdiagnosed.

    Over one million Americans are impacted with a primary autonomic system disorder. The more common forms of these conditions include Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)/Orthostatic Intolerance (OI), Neurocardiogenic Syncope (NCS), Pure Autonomic Failure (PAF) and Multiple Systems Atrophy (MSA).

    DINET provides information and personal stories on several types of dysautonomia. 

  • Do you have a question for our Medical Expert's?

    Medical Q & A         

    DINET's Medical Advisors are physicians who specialize in different aspects of dysautonomia treatment and research.  We are honored that these dedicated professionals share their time and knowledge with us and you!  If you have a question that you would like answered by our advisory team, please send it to webmaster@dinet.org   Questions are posted in our quarterly newsletter. 


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  • Discussion Forum: Trending Topics

  • Ongoing Studies

    **COVID-19 Research for Dysautonomia and other rare diseases -  Research conducted by Dr. Blitshteyn as well as research conducted by the Rare Disease Network.

    RECRUITING:  John Hopkins University is conducting a study to develop a test for screening for positive diagnosis in patients with  dyautonomia-related dysmotility who are being considered for Celiac Ganglion Resection surgery.  The study's objective is to develop a test that will determine if a patient will be helped by the surgery before it is done.   To read more about this study, please visit our recruitment study page

    RECRUITING:  Clarkson University is conducting a study to learn about what factors affect the function and quality of life for people living various chronic illnesses.  The study should take approximately 45 minutes to complete and asks similar questions to those asked by healthcare providers.  Questions will include quality of sleep, fatigue, pain, etc.  All answers will be anonymous.  Participants must be 18 years or older.  Each person participating is requested to ask one healthy person to also participate but this is not required.  To learn more about this study or to begin the questionnaire, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/V3P7S9J  This is an IRB approved study. 

    RECRUITING:  New study examining the impact on parents raising a child between the ages of 8 - 17 who have been diagnosed with POTS.  To read more about this study, including contact information, visit https://www.dinet.org/info/studies/studies-dysautonomia-related-chronic-illness-r107/

    RECRUITING:  Vanderbilt University is conducting a study entitled "Pathophysiology and therapy of Orthostatic Intolerance."  Studies to identify the role of the brain, the autonomic nervous system and the vasculature in Orthostatic Intolerance.  Read more about this study.

    OPEN - Recruiting:  The Mayo Clinic, is conducting a study to better understand the causes of autonomic disorders and to collect and store DNA for future studies of dysautonomia. Read more about this study

    Recruiting:  The University of CA is currently recruiting POTS patients for a clinical study examining the effect of Ivabradine on heart rate fluctuations - specifically tachycardia. Ivabradine is a drug currently used to treat heart failure but is not currently used for the treatment of POTS.  Read more about this study

    Recruiting:  What is it like living with POTS during emerging adulthood?  Virginia Tech is recruiting 18 - 29 year olds diagnosed with POTS for a family science study on POTS.  This is a parent-child study so both must be willing to participate.  Read more about the study or email Virginia Tech Department of Human Development.  

    RECRUITING:  Clinical Trial:  University of Oklahoma and Vanderbilt University are recruiting POTS patients for the Autoimmune Basis for Postural Tachycardia Syndrome study.  They are looking at the levels of immune proteins (autoantibodies) in POTS patients and their relation to symptoms over time.  Read more about the trial

    RECRUITING:  Clinical Trial:  Dr. Satish Raj and the University of Calgary is recruiting POTS patients for a study of the effects of compression on the symptoms of POTS.  Read more about the trial

    RECRUITING: Clinical Trial:  Studying Vitamin D deficiency in children ages 10 to 18.  A diagnostic workup for chronic nausea unexplained by conventional diagnostic tests has unexpectedly revealed underlying cardiovascular instability manifesting as orthostatic intolerance, primarily defined as POTS (88%).  Read more about the trial.

    Still RECRUITING:  ME/CFS: Activity Patterns and Autonomic Dysfunction this 4-year study is looking at the relationship between illness, non-improvement, patient activity, and autonomic function. The long-range goal is to look at the activities that trigger a relapse or non-improvement vs the activities that bring better symptom management.  The study will continue until December of 2019.  Visit the study page for information

    NEW:  RECRUITING:  The NIH All of Us Research Program is now open to people with or without illness.  This project's goal is to amass data from 1 million plus people in the U.S. to provide physicians and researchers the ability to use Precision Medicine to prevent, diagnose, treat and potentially cure disease and disorders in this country.  DINET is a Champion partner of this program and more information can be found on our site here

    Recruiting:  The investigators propose to conduct a safety, tolerability and early proof of concept efficacy study of phosphatidylserine in patients with FD.  The long-term goal is to find an effection nutritional therapy that will improve the quality of life for patients with FD and alter disease prognosis  Contact & participation information is available  - https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02276716?cond=Dysautonomia&rank=5

    Completed, Results TBA:  PET Imaging Study of Neurochemical and Autonomic Disorders in Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) From the University of Michigan   This study aims to better understand the patterns and timings of nerve degeneration relatively early on and how it affects symptoms and progression.  Contact & participation information available https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT02035761?recrs=ab&cond=Dysautonomia+Orthostatic+Hypotension+Syndrome&rank=4

    Recruiting:  A Study of Pyridostigmine in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome.  This is a 3-day study being conducted by the Mayo Clinic comparing pyridostigmine vs placebo in the treatment of POTS.   http://www.mayo.edu/research/clinical-trials/cls-20128843

    Recruiting:  Two new studies open for patients with MSA.  The NYU Dysautonomia Center has 2 new clinical trials to test new drugs that are being developed for the treatment of OH in patients with MSA.   https://dysautonomiacenter.com/2017/04/10/two-new-studies-open-for-patients-with-msa/

    Recruiting:  Vagal Stimulation in POTS- The Autonomic Inflammatory Reflex (Pilot 3)  study to investigate how the electrical stimulation of a nerve in the skin of your ear lobe (transcutaneous vagal nerve stimulation) affects the way your autonomic nervous system controls your heart rhythm.   visit https://www.rarediseasesnetwork.org/cms/autonomic/6111

    Recruiting:   Clinical Autonomic Disorders:  A Training Protocol is a study to learn more about dysautonomias to the specific purpose of developing training protocols to help new physicians understand the illness and to better diagnose patients.  To participate in the study or read more about it, visit our studies page or go directly to the clinical trials site

    Recruiting:  The Big POTS Survey  is still going on.  

    Vanderbilt University and Dysautonomia International sponsored survey.  The study's lead investigator is Dr. Satish Raj, MD MSCI, Adjunct Professor of Medicine at Vanderbilt University's Autonomic Dysfunction Center.  Dr. Raj says that the information collected as part of this survey "will help us learn more about the possible underlying causes and risk factors for developing POTS, treatments, and the economic, educational and social impact of POTS on patients and their families."  Dr Raj serves on the Medical Advisory Board for DINET and Dysautonomia International.  Go directly to the survey 

  • newInfo.jpg.4ceb83bf52c89b3ecff7f905279623ac.jpgWhat's New... 


    NEW:  A look at managing leg weakness for MS patients.  Great info applicable to the weakness experienced by people living with dysautonomia   https://www.mymsteam.com/resources/managing-ms-leg-weakness

    NEW:  A look at POTS as an autoimmune disease and updates on the latest autonomic research  https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10286-019-00661-5

    NEW:  Drug discovery programs for synucleinopathies in Multiple System Atrophy  https://journals.plos.org/plospathogens/article?id=10.1371/journal.ppat.1008222

    NEW:  The impact of Dysautonomia and Guillian Barre syndrome on functional outcomes of patients http://bit.ly/2wu9tJZ

    Test developed for CFS/ME to detect the reaction of immune cells and blood plasma to stress. (Pub May 2019)  https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2019/04/24/1901274116 

    Research published by Frontiers in Neuroscience demonstrate improvements in cognitive function, as well as a decrease in HR in POTS patients after rapid water ingestion.  (Pub April 2019) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6465605/

    Study released by Dr. Lucy Diss and colleagues about the effects of propofol on motility.  Published in Autonomic Neuroscience. (in progress for Pub July 2019)  Abstract: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1566070219300426  

    Study released by Dr. Julian Stewart and colleagues discusses Postural Hyperventilation and the resulting variant POTS disorder.  Pub Journal of the American Heart Association. 

    An examination of the experimental and clinical trials conducted in the treatment and diagnosis of MSA.  Pub Science Direct, Autonomic Neuroscience Vol 211

    The Journal of Parkinson's Disease reviewed the impact of different exercise modes on people suffering from Parkinson's Disease. Pub IOS Press, Feb 2019 https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-parkinsons-disease/jpd181484

    Updated Info:  Dr. Raj and associate, Dr. Miller's updated article about the pharmacotherapy for POTS.  Pub. May 2018 in Science Direct, Autonomic Neuroscience.  https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1566070218300250

    Results:  An examination of whether the impairment of the Corticol Autonomic Network (CAN) of the brain is involved in the physiology of Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (NOH) Pub. Oct 2018  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30332348

    NEW RESULTS:  The need for specific diagnosis and treatment for patients labeled with CFS and Fibromyalgia.  Important research results from one of DINET's Medical Advisors, Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn and her colleague, Pradeep Chopra, Pub date Oct 2018  Download the full article from this page.

    Study results:  Diclofenac linked to increased risk in cardiovascular health.  Research by The BMJ - https://www.bmj.com/content/362/bmj.k3426

    Updated from CDC:  https://www.cdc.gov/vaccinesafety/vaccines/hpv/hpv-safety-faqs.html  Follow up to: HPV Vaccine and POTS https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28689455

    Study results:  Complex Regional Pain Syndrome, Type 1 -  Diagnosis and management.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29409405?_ga=2.71311891.1204982470.1531704876-989465291.1526426607

    Study results:  A presentation made by the American Association for Cancer Research at their annual meeting reported findings related to health risks in post-menopausal women using medication for high blood pressure.  The report claims an increased risk of pancreatic cancer in post-menopausal women using short-acting calcium channel blocking medications for their blood pressure treatment.  Read the information from the AACR.

    Study results:  NE Journal of Medicine releasing study results for episodic migraine treatment using Erenunab.  The publication is reporting a 50% or greater reduction in the average number of migraine days per month.  Read more about this study

    Study results:  Physical maneuvers are viewed as important and promising strategies for reducing recurring episodes of syncope in vasovagal syncope patientsRead the result of the study published Jan. 2018

    Study results:  University of Alberta & McGill University release their findings for a new therapeutic agent  that may hold the potential for the prevention of MS
    Article synopsis:  https://bit.ly/2GhF5FK
    Research Article:  https://insight.jci.org/articles/view/98410  

    Study results:  Could gut bacteria be the key to preventing autoimmune disorders?  Researchers from Yale, New Haven, CT are reporting that discovery that bacteria in the small intestine can travel to other organs and induce an autoimmune response.  They also are reporting that antibiotic treatment or vaccine may be the key to combating this reaction.  The study results were originally published in the journal Science.  This article from Medical News Today gives a synopsis of the findings and links to the full study.   https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321157.php

    Genomics and Health Impact Blog -  a discussion about gene testing from the CDC
    There have been enormous contributions toward disease prevention in women's health, in particular, the development of consumer testing for the BRCA gene.  The benefits cannot be applauded enough. However, health protection & research organizations like the CDC, are increasingly warning consumers about the need for professional counsel when interpreting results.   This article, humorously entitled "Think before you spit"  tempers the amazing breakthroughs with the cautionary information we need to have to be able to put a perspective on the results testing may give us.  https://blogs.cdc.gov/genomics/2017/04/18/direct-to-consumer-2/

    1st lab test to detect concussion approved by FDA
    For any person who has fainted or fallen and hit their head, the blood test approved recently by the FDA could be a lifesaver.  The test detects concussion by looking for specific proteins released into the blood within 12 hours after the head trauma.  Known as the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator it can reduce the need for CT Scans and radiation and will produce results within 3 - 4 hours following injury.  Read more about this important breakthrough

    Neuroprotective diet having good results for people living with MSA

    POTS & Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome 

    "Postural tachycardia in hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos syndrome: A distinct subtype?" by Miglis MG, Schultz B, and Muppidi S, from the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Stanford University Medical Center.

    "It is not clear if patients with postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) and Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (hEDS) differ from patients with POTS due to other etiologies. We compared the results of autonomic testing and healthcare utilization in POTS patients with and without hEDS."


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    The Mighty and DINET are partners!  The Mighty is a story-based health community that focuses on improving the lives of people facing diseases and disabilities and shares in DINET's mission of raising awareness for chronic health conditions. More than half of Americans are facing serious health conditions, The Mighty publishes real stories about real people facing real challenges.  To follow stories related to dysautonomia, please visit https://themighty.com/dysautonomia/

  • A Series presented by DINET and Dr. Svetlana Blitshteyn





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