Study of Norepinephrine Levels and Sympathetic Nervous System Activity

2014-08-27 03:59:40 | BioPortfolio


Brain and nerve cells communicate with each other by releasing and picking up chemicals called neurotransmitters. Norepinephrine is a neurotransmitter used by part of the nervous system activated during stress called the sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic nervous system is involved with regulating blood pressure and pulse rate. Researchers believe the level norepinephrine in the blood can be used to measure activity of the sympathetic nervous system.

This study is designed to answer important questions about rates of release of norepinephrine into the blood stream, removal of released norepinephrine, and the sympathetic nervous system response to stress.

Researchers will attempt to measure levels of norepinephrine and activity of the sympathetic nervous system in patients with high blood pressure, normal patients with family histories of high blood pressure, patients taking drugs that can effect levels of norepinephrine, and patients with diseases or conditions directly affecting the sympathetic nervous system.


In order to examine sympathetic nervous system function in neurocardiological disorders and catecholaminergic effects of dietary manipulations or neuropsychiatric drugs, the protocol calls for evaluations of the kinetics of 3H-norepinephrine or 3H-epinephrine in patients with hypertension, dysautonomias, or disorders thought to involve abnormal catecholaminergic function, and in normotensive normal volunteers. Apparent spillover and clearance rates are estimated based on the norepinephrine or epinephrine concentration during the infusion and their steady-state specific activities, under resting conditions and in response to physiological or pharmacological manipulations thought to affect sympathetic outflows.

Study Design



Autonomic Nervous System Disease


National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)
United States




National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)

Results (where available)

View Results


Published on BioPortfolio: 2014-08-27T03:59:40-0400

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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions

The enteric, parasympathetic, and sympathetic nervous systems taken together. Generally speaking, the autonomic nervous system regulates the internal environment during both peaceful activity and physical or emotional stress. Autonomic activity is controlled and integrated by the central nervous system, especially the hypothalamus and the solitary nucleus, which receive information relayed from VISCERAL AFFERENTS; these and related central and sensory structures are sometimes (but not here) considered to be part of the autonomic nervous system itself.

Nerves and plexuses of the autonomic nervous system. The central nervous system structures which regulate the autonomic nervous system are not included.

Diseases of the parasympathetic or sympathetic divisions of the AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM; which has components located in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM and PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. Autonomic dysfunction may be associated with HYPOTHALAMIC DISEASES; BRAIN STEM disorders; SPINAL CORD DISEASES; and PERIPHERAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES. Manifestations include impairments of vegetative functions including the maintenance of BLOOD PRESSURE; HEART RATE; pupil function; SWEATING; REPRODUCTIVE AND URINARY PHYSIOLOGY; and DIGESTION.

The nervous system outside of the brain and spinal cord. The peripheral nervous system has autonomic and somatic divisions. The autonomic nervous system includes the enteric, parasympathetic, and sympathetic subdivisions. The somatic nervous system includes the cranial and spinal nerves and their ganglia and the peripheral sensory receptors.

The craniosacral division of the autonomic nervous system. The cell bodies of the parasympathetic preganglionic fibers are in brain stem nuclei and in the sacral spinal cord. They synapse in cranial autonomic ganglia or in terminal ganglia near target organs. The parasympathetic nervous system generally acts to conserve resources and restore homeostasis, often with effects reciprocal to the sympathetic nervous system.

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