Chapter

Autonomic Nervous System Markers for Psychophysiological, Anxiety, and Physical Disorders

Richard Gevirtz

in Integrative Neuroscience and Personalized Medicine

Published in print December 2010 | ISBN: 9780195393804
Published online January 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199863495 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195393804.003.0009
Autonomic Nervous System Markers for Psychophysiological, Anxiety, and Physical Disorders

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This chapter explores the use of autonomic nervous system (ANS) measures as potential biomarkers for medically unexplained disorders. It is proposed that these disorders are better classified and treated as related symptom clusters with logical physiological and psychophysiological involving the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS. Heart rate variability is described and several examples are given of how specific autonomic biomarkers are related to mental and physical function. Some examples from the worlds of chronic pain and gastroenterology are presented as exemplars using of a simple marker (HRV) that reflects imbalance between the body’s primary excitatory and inhibitory systems, that can readily be linked to gene-brain personalized medicine markers underlying excitation-inhibitory imbalances in brain-based disorders.

Keywords: Autonomic nervous system; vagal biomarkers; heart rate variability; mediational model

Chapter.  7727 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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