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Daily Archives: July 17, 2016

Things you might not know about Autonomic Dysreflexia

Published: July 17, 2016

blood pressure autonomic dysreflexiaThe body is a series of checks and balances. This is true of muscles that push and countering muscles that pull. It is also true of the nervous system that operates in a balancing type of process. Individuals with higher level spinal cord injury can develop a complication called Autonomic Dysreflexia (AD). This is a condition where the sympathetic nervous system is left unchecked by the parasympathetic nervous system.

There is a bundle of nerves at the Thoracic vertebrae number six (T6) level that is a major junction where nerves come close together in the spinal cord. Individuals with spinal cord injury above this level have a disruption in the nerve segment. For these individuals, stimulation of the body at or below T6 can send confusing messages to the brain as the message will create a huge discharge of the sympathetic nervous system using all of the blood flow in the abdomen without the counter control of the parasympathetic nervous system to contain it. Blood pressure rises to extremely high proportions.

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