Autonomic dysfunction is very common in patients with dementia, and its presence might also help in differential diagnosis among dementia subtypes. Various central nervous system structures affected in Alzheimer's disease are also implicated in autonomic nervous system regulation, and it has been hypothesized that the deficit in central cholinergic function observed in Alzheimer's disease could likely lead to autonomic dysfunction. Several feasible tests can be used in clinical practice for the assessment of parasympathetic and sympathetic functions, especially in terms of cardiovascular autonomic modulation. In this review, we describe the different tests available and the evidence from the literature which indicate a definite presence of autonomic dysfunction in dementia at various degrees. Importantly, the recognition of dysautonomia, besides possibly being an early marker of dementia, would help prevent the disabling complications which increase the risk of morbidity, institutionalization, and mortality in these individuals.

Autonomic dysfunction is very common in patients with dementia, and its presence might also help in differential diagnosis among dementia subtypes. Various central nervous system structures affected in Alzheimer's disease are also implicated in autonomic nervous system regulation, and it has been hypothesized that the deficit in central cholinergic function observed in Alzheimer's disease could likely lead to autonomic dysfunction. Several feasible tests can be used in clinical practice for the assessment of parasympathetic and sympathetic functions, especially in terms of cardiovascular autonomic modulation. In this review, we describe the different tests available and the evidence from the literature which indicate a definite presence of autonomic dysfunction in dementia at various degrees. Importantly, the recognition of dysautonomia, besides possibly being an early marker of dementia, would help prevent the disabling complications which increase the risk of morbidity, institutionalization, and mortality in these individuals.

Autonomic dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease: Tools for assessment and review of the literature

Komici, Klara;Ferrara, Nicola
2014-01-01

Abstract

Autonomic dysfunction is very common in patients with dementia, and its presence might also help in differential diagnosis among dementia subtypes. Various central nervous system structures affected in Alzheimer's disease are also implicated in autonomic nervous system regulation, and it has been hypothesized that the deficit in central cholinergic function observed in Alzheimer's disease could likely lead to autonomic dysfunction. Several feasible tests can be used in clinical practice for the assessment of parasympathetic and sympathetic functions, especially in terms of cardiovascular autonomic modulation. In this review, we describe the different tests available and the evidence from the literature which indicate a definite presence of autonomic dysfunction in dementia at various degrees. Importantly, the recognition of dysautonomia, besides possibly being an early marker of dementia, would help prevent the disabling complications which increase the risk of morbidity, institutionalization, and mortality in these individuals.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/74503
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