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Vagal nerve stimulation is a neurosurgical procedure consisting of implantation of an impulse generator battery with leads placed into the vagus nerve in the neck. This procedure was FDA approved for epilepsy in the 1990s and is commonly performed as an outpatient surgery. The mechanism of efficacy is not well understood; however it is increasingly recognized that electrical stimulation of the vagus nerve may impact other organ systems in the body including the immune, gastrointestinal and autonomic systems. The primary objective of this study is to characterize the pre- and post-operative bowel habits and gut microbiome of patients implanted with vagal nerve stimulator (VNS) for epilepsy. Secondary objectives of this study include: (1) to characterize the pre- and post-operative autonomic profile, (2) characterize the pre- and post-operative immune profile, and (3) to elucidate whether gut microbiota changes are related to VNS efficacy for epilepsy.
The study has three aims: 1. To investigate the influence of cardiovascular autonomic function on pain sensitivity at rest in patients with fibromyalgia and age- and sex-matched controls 2. To investigate the influence of cardiovascular autonomic function at baseline and during exercise on the pain response following submaximal isometric exercise 3. To study the relation between the pain response following physical and cognitive tasks (exercise and mental math, respectively).
This explorative prospective study aims to assess the effects of heart rate variability biofeedback (HRV biofeedback) in patients with acute ischaemic stroke. Furthermore, the investigators aim to examine the impact of the intervention on cardiac autonomic function and further autonomic parameters such as sudomotor (sympathetic perspiratory gland function) and vasomotor function (sympathetic arterial function). Patients testing is going to be conducted at the Department of Neurology, University Hospital Carl Gustave Carus, Dresden, Germany.
This study aim to evaluate if the improvement of heart rate variability for the continuous positive airway pressure titration night can predict the short and long term continuous positive airway pressure adherence for patients with moderate to severe OSA.
The main aim of this study is to gain an in-depth knowledge of cardiopulmonary and autonomic health consequences, and related risk factors among people with long-term high-level spinal cord injury. The result of this study will form the basis for further research to improve prevention strategies and risk prediction of cardiopulmonary disorders in people with spinal cord injury.
Investigators conducted a pilot study to to evaluate the autonomic function in participants with pectus excavatum before and after Nuss surgery.
The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends that resistance exercise performed at greater than 70% one repetition maximum (1 RM) is necessary to induce strength gains and muscular hypertrophy (ACSM, 2009). However, previous work has shown resistance exercise at high intensity increases the rate of injury. Blood flow restriction (BFR) exercise is a method that is used to compress the blood vessels to the exercising muscle in order to reduce blood flow to the limb with the use of low-intensity resistance. Researchers have suggested that resistance exercise at intensities as low as 20-30% 1-repetition maximum with BFR increases in muscle mass, muscular endurance, and gains in strength. However, the acute heart and blood vessel changes in response to BFR are not clear. Work by our laboratory (Tai et al., 2016) has demonstrated that immediately following acute resistance exercise at moderate intensity (75% 1 RM) without BFR, there are no changes in aortic and brachial systolic and diastolic blood pressure (BP), but there are increases in the pressure of the reflective wave (augmentation pressure). This suggests that the arterial wall is stiff, and may in turn result in thickening of the arterial wall. However, the data are limited and these responses may not be universally accepted. In addition, these studies used primarily lower-body resistance exercises (squat, leg extension, and leg flexion), and did not assess changes in heart and blood vessel function. Previous researchers have demonstrated that upper-body exercise induces higher BP and heart rate (HR) than lower-body exercise. However, the effects of upper- and lower-body resistance exercise with BFR on heart and blood vessel function are still unclear. Therefore, understanding the effects of upper- and lower-body resistance exercise with BFR on heart and blood vessel function using weight machines, specifically the chess press, latissimus dorsi pulldown, knee extension, and knee flexion may significant impact how the resistance training program is prescribed.
This study will compare examine autonomic and cardiovascular responses to peak exercise testing in Parkinson's disease patients in varying stages of the disease, and healthy, age-matched participants. Participants will be asked to complete a peak exercise test on a motorized treadmill. Heart rate, blood pressure, norepinephrine, and other markers for cardiovascular function will be assessed at rest, during exercise, and post-exercise. The hypothesis to be tested is that Parkinson's disease patients will exhibit a decreased autonomic and cardiovascular response to exercise when compared to patients' healthy age-matched counterparts. The investigators secondary hypothesis is that Parkinson's disease patients in more advanced stages will exhibit a greater decrease in response when compared to these patients' Stage 1 counterparts, or healthy age-matched counterparts.
This study will explore the a Qigong based exercise intervention, here referred to as Meditative Movement (MM), to ameliorate the symptoms associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and its co-morbidities. It tests the hypothesis that MM will have a beneficial effect on COPD in FA, particularly on functional ability, respiratory symptoms, affective state, inflammation, and autonomic imbalance. If the hypothesis is correct, MM could be rapidly and inexpensively taught to FA with COPD and other COPD patients to slow degeneration and improve quality of life.
Spinal cord Injury (SCI) is a condition commonly associated with a state of chronic low-grade inflammation due to a variety of factors such heightened risk for infection and development of metabolic disorders. Many disorders which have been demonstrated to have an inflammatory basis have also been found to be at much higher prevalence following SCI. Such conditions include, but are not limited to, depression, cognitive impairment, neuropathic pain, and somatic/autonomic nerve function. The fact that such disorders have an inflammatory basis provides a unique opportunity to treat them with intervention strategies which target the immune system. Natural anti-inflammatory interventions including a diet consisting of foods and supplements with anti-inflammatory properties may be an effective option for treating inflammation in this population. As this treatment strategy will target the inflammatory basis of many disorders it would be expected to lead to a reduction in pro-inflammatory mediators thereby leading to more sustainable long-term immune improvements regarding enzyme function and protein balances. Despite this, surprisingly little research has focused on the use of anti-inflammatory foods for the treatment of chronic inflammatory conditions, and effects specific to SCI have been almost completely neglected. As such, the current study will focus on the daily intake of natural supplements with anti-inflammatory properties over a 3 month intervention and the effects on inflammation and associated disorders will be assessed. It is hypothesized that the supplementation will result in positive alterations in enzyme regulation and protein balances resulting in improvements in each of the outcome measures of interest.