cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after sympathectomy

The amount of compensatory sweating depends on the patient, the damage that the white rami communicans incurs, and the amount of cell body reorganization in the spinal cord after surgery.
Other potential complications include inadequate resection of the ganglia, gustatory sweating, pneumothorax, cardiac dysfunction, post-operative pain, and finally Horner’s syndrome secondary to resection of the stellate ganglion.

After severing the cervical sympathetic trunk, the cells of the cervical sympathetic ganglion undergo transneuronic degeneration
After severing the sympathetic trunk, the cells of its origin undergo complete disintegration within a year.


Saturday, November 21, 2015

Our results show that [3H]substance P binding in the intermediolateral cell column is dependent on the integrity of sympathetic postganglionic neurons

Guanethidine-induced destruction of sympathetic postganglionic neurons in neonatal rats leads to transneuronal degeneration of the sympathetic preganglionic neurons. Using this model, we have been able to show a approximately 35% decrease in [3H]substance P ([3H]SP) binding in the intermediolateral cell column--suggesting that sympathetic preganglionic neurons possess substance P receptors. Our results show that [3H]substance P binding in the intermediolateral cell column is dependent on the integrity of sympathetic postganglionic neurons.

Brain Res. 1985 Apr 29;193-6. pii:0006-8993(85)90146-5.
Reduction of [3H]substance P binding in the intermediolateral cell column after sympathectomy. Takano Y,Loewy AD


Substance P is an important element in pain perception. The sensory function of substance P is thought to be related to the transmission of pain information into the central nervous system. Substance P coexists with the excitatory neurotransmitter glutamate in primary afferents that respond to painful stimulation.[16] Substance P has been associated with the regulation of mood disorders, anxiety, stress,[17] reinforcement,[18] neurogenesis,[19] respiratory rhythm,[20] neurotoxicity, nausea and emesis,[21] pain, and nociception.[22] Substance P and other sensory neuropeptides can be released from the peripheral terminals of sensory nerve fibers in the skin, muscle, and joints. It is proposed that this release is involved in neurogenic inflammation, which is a local inflammatory response to certain types of infection or injury.[23] The regulatory function of SP also involves the regulation of its high-affinity receptor, NK-1. Substance P receptor antagonists may have important therapeutic applications in the treatment of a variety of stress-related illnesses, in addition to their potential as analgesics.


Monday, June 15, 2015

sympathectomized subjects act but do not feel emotional

in the absence of autonomic arousal, behavior that appears emotional will not be experienced as emotional

"In the presence of a barking dog, for example, the sympathectomized cats manifested almost all of the signs of feline rage. Finally, Cannon notes the report of Dana (1921) that a patient with a spinal-cord lesion and almost totally without visceral sensation still manifested emotionality.
For either the Jamesian or the present formulation such data are crucial, since both views demand visceral arousal as a necessary condition for emotional arousal. When faced with this evidence, James's defenders (e.g., Wenger, 1950; Mandler, 1962) have consistently made the point that the apparently emotional behavior manifested by sympathectomizied animals and men is well-learned behavior, acquired long before sympathectomy. There is a dual implication in this position: first, that sympathetic arousal facilitates the acquisition of emotional behavior, and second, that sympathectomized subjects act but do not feel emotional. There is a small but growing evidence supporting these contentions. Wynne and Solomon (1955) have demonstrated that sympathectomized dogs acquire an avoidance response considerably more slowly than control dogs. Further, on extinction trials most of their 13 sympathectomized animals extinguished quickly, whereas not a single one of the 30 control dogs gave any indication of extinction over 200 trials. Of particular interest are two dogs who were sympathectomized after they had acquired the avoidance response. On extinction trials these two animals behaved precisely like the control dogs - giving no indication of extinction. Thus, when deprived of visceral innervation, animals are quite slow in acquiring emotionally-linked avoidance responses and in general, quick to extinguish such responses." (p. 163)

"A line of thought stimulated by the Wynne and Solomon (1955) and the Hohmann (1962) studies may indeed be the answer to Cannon's observations that there can be emotional behavior without visceral activity. From the evidence of these studies, it would appear, first, that autonomic arousal greatly facilitates the acquisition of emotional behavior but it is not necessary for its maintenance if the behavior is acquired prior to sympathectomy; and second, that in the absence of autonomic arousal, behavior that appears emotional will not be experienced as emotional." (p. 167)

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Middle cerebral artery blood velocity during exercise with beta-1 adrenergic and unilateral stellate ganglion blockade in humans

 2000 Sep;170(1):33-8.

Middle cerebral artery blood velocity during exercise with beta-1 adrenergic and unilateral stellate ganglion blockade in humans.


A reduced ability to increase cardiac output (CO) during exercise limits blood flow by vasoconstriction even in active skeletal muscle. Such a flow limitation may also take place in the brain as an increase in the transcranial Doppler determined middle cerebral artery blood velocity (MCA V(mean)) is attenuated during cycling with beta-1 adrenergic blockade and in patients with heart insufficiency. We studied whether sympathetic blockade at the level of the neck (0.1% lidocaine; 8 mL; n=8) affects the attenuated exercise - MCA V(mean following cardio-selective beta-1 adrenergic blockade (0.15 mg kg(-1) metoprolol i.v.) during cycling. Cardiac output determined by indocyanine green dye dilution, heart rate (HR), mean arterial pressure (MAP) and MCA V(mean) were obtained during moderate intensity cycling before and after pharmacological intervention. During control cycling the right and left MCA V(mean) increased to the same extent (11.4 +/- 1.9 vs. 11.1 +/- 1.9 cm s(-1)). With the pharmacological intervention the exercise CO (10 +/- 1 vs. 12 +/- 1 L min(-1); n=5), HR (115 +/- 4 vs. 134 +/- 4 beats min(-1)) and delta MCA V(mean) (8.7 +/- 2.2 vs. 11.4 +/- 1.9 cm s(-1) were reduced, and MAP was increased (100 +/- 5 vs. 86 +/- 2 mmHg; P < 0.05). However, sympathetic blockade at the level of the neck eliminated the beta-1 blockade induced attenuation in delta MCA V(mean) (10.2 +/- 2.5 cm s(-1)). These results indicate that a reduced ability to increase CO during exercise limits blood flow to a vital organ like the brain and that this flow limitation is likely to be by way of the sympathetic nervous system.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Sympathectomy at the level of the T2 ganglion leads to decreased negative feedback to the hypothalamus

Compensatory sweating was originally thought to be a mechanism of excessive sweating (in an anatomical region with an intact sympathetic nervous system) to maintain a constant rate of total sweat secretion.90 However, this theory was not confirmed by other studies, demonstrating that compensatory sweating represented a reflex action by an altered feedback mechanism at the level of the hypothalamus which is dependent on the level at which sympathetic denervation occurs. Sympathectomy at the level of the T2 ganglion leads to decreased negative feedback to the hypothalamus. When performing a sympathectomy at a lower level, the negative feedback to the hypothalamus is less inhibited, leading to a decrease in compensatory sweating. Chou et al.91 have proposed the term ‘reflex sweating’ to replace compensatory sweating. Other side effects described in a review article by Dumont89 are gustatory sweating, cardiac effects, phantom sweating, lung function changes, dry hands and altered taste. Besides these side effects there are significant risks of complications during and after surgery (arterial or venous vascular injury, pneumothorax, infection, Horner syndrome etc.).

JEADV 2012, 26, 1–8 Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sympathectomy and parasympathectomy leads to the hyperfunction of the serotoninergic system and pathology

We studied the balance of activity of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and serotoninergic divisions of the autonomic nervous system in the regulation of the heart function in rabbits. High activities of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system are associated with antagonistic interactions between them. Moderation of activity of these systems could be accompanied by activation of the serotoninergic system. Physiological sympathectomy and parasympathectomy lead to hyperfunction of the serotoninergic system and pathology.

Bulletin of Experimental Biology and Medicine, Vol. 140, No. 5, 2005 PHYSIOLOGY

Disturbances in brain serotonergic systems result in a range of phenotypes such as depression, suicide and anxiety disorders.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Changes in cerebral capillary bed following cervical sympathectomy

Changes in the cerebral capillary bed following cervical sympathectomy,' Arch. Neurol. and Psychiat., 1929, 21, 1102.Tracy J. Putnam
The Cerebral Circulation: Some New Points in its Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
J Neurol Psychopathol, Jan 1937; s1-17: 193 - 212.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

High plasma norepinephrine and depression

High plasma norepinephrine and depression

Copyright © 1999 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Science Inc.
Plasma norepinephrine and prediction of outcome in major depressive disorder
Timothy G. Johnstona, Christopher B. KellyCorresponding Author Contact Informationa, Michael R. Stevensonb and Stephen J. Coopera 
a Department of Mental Health, Whitla Medical Building, The Queen’s University of Belfast, Belfast, UK (TGJ, CBK, SJC)
b Department of Medical Statistics, Mulhouse Building, The Queen’s Unversity of Belfast, Belfast, UK (MRS)
Received 1 February 1999; revised 17 May 1999; accepted 21 May 1999. Available online 30 November 1999.

Background: Several epidemiologic and clinical factors have been shown to predict long term outcome in major depressive disorder (MDD). The value of biological predictors has not been extensively studied. This study examined whether plasma norepinephrine may be useful in predicting outcome in MDD.
Methods: Forty patients were followed up 8 years after an index major depressive episode. Three outcome variables were assessed: time to first recurrence (the primary outcome measure), the Lee and Murray criteria and the Depression Outcome Scale (DOS). The results were examined against plasma norepinephrine value, at the index episode, using survival analysis and linear regression.
Results: High plasma norepinephrine at the index episode was positively and significantly associated with time to first recurrence for patients with nonpsychotic MDD (n = 31, χ2 = 8.38, on 1 df, p < .01). Similarly, plasma norepinephrine was significantly associated with good global outcome, both using Lee and Murray criteria (n = 34, adjusted R2 = .24, p < .01) and DOS criteria (n = 31, adjusted R2 = .17, p < .01) for this group of patients. In contrast, plasma norepinephrine was not significantly related to outcome for MDD with psychotic features.
Conclusions: Plasma norepinephrine at index episode seems to be a predictor of outcome in MDD.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

cervical sympathectomy works systemically through hypothalamus endocrine system

Background: To investigate the general action of stellate ganglion block (SGB), we examined the effects of heat stimulation and cold stress on the behavior and stress hormone of the bilateral cervical sympathectomy rats as a long-term and repeated SGB model. Methods: Wistar's male rats were divided into three groups: control (C), sham operation (S) and sympathectomy (Sx) groups. After 2 weeks, two experiments were done. One was measurement of escape response time from the heat stimulus and the other was hormone measurement. Serum adreno-corticotropic hormone (ACTH), .ALPHA.-melanocyte stimulating hormone (.ALPHA.-MSH) and .BETA.-endorphine (.BETA.-END) levels were measured assigning 3 groups to 2 subgroups with and without cold stress. Results: Escape response time was significantly extended in the Sx group. ACTH in the Sx group was significantly higher than in other groups, but changes of ACTH by cold stress were similar in 3 groups. In the Sx group .ALPHA.-MSH was hardly changed by cold stress while .ALPHA.-MSH was significantly decreased in the S group. Changes of .BETA.-END by cold stress were similar in the S and Sx groups. Conclusions: These results suggest that SGB works systemically through hypothalamus endocrine system and affects stress hormone differently. (author abst.)


Limbic-cortical dysregulation: a proposed model of depression

cognition and reward processing

Recent functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) investigations of the interaction between cognition and reward processing have found that the lateral prefrontal cortex (PFC) areas are preferentially activated to both increasing cognitive demand and reward level. Conversely, ventromedial PFC (VMPFC) areas show decreased activation to the same conditions, indicating a possible reciprocal relationship between cognitive and emotional processing regions. We report an fMRI study of a rewarded working memory task, in which we further explore how the relationship between reward and cognitive processing is mediated. We not only assess the integrity of reciprocal neural connections between the lateral PFC and VMPFC brain regions in different experimental contexts but also test whether additional cortical and subcortical regions influence this relationship. Psychophysiological interaction analyses were used as a measure of functional connectivity in order to characterize the influence of both cognitive and motivational variables on connectivity between the lateral PFC and the VMPFC.

These findings provide evidence for a dynamic interplay between lateral PFC and VMPFC regions and are consistent with an emotional gating role for the VMPFC during cognitively demanding tasks. Our findings also support neuropsychological theories of mood disorders, which have long emphasized a dysfunctional relationship between emotion/motivational and cognitive processes in depression.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Sympathectomy reduces emotional, stress-induced sweating indicating that it affects the stress-response

"...for reasons that are not obvious, many patients with facial hyperhidrosis and hyperhidrosis of the feet will benefit from upper thoracic sympathectomy. " 

(The Journal of Pain, Vol 1, No 4 (Winter), 2000: pp 261-264)

"Bilateral upper thoracic sympathicolysis is followed by redistribution of body perspiration, with a clear decrease in the zones regulated by mental or emotional stimuli, and an increase in the areas regulated by environmental stimuli, though we are unable to establish the etiology of this redistribution." 

(Surg Endosc. 2007 Nov;21(11):2030-3. Epub 2007 Mar 13.) 

"Palmar hyperhidrosis of clinical severity is a hallmark physical sign of many anxiety disorders, including generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, and especially social phobia.4 These are increasingly well understood and highly treatable neurobiological conditions. They are mod- erately heritable hard-wired fear responses,5 and are linked to amygdalar and locus coeruleus hyper-reactivity during psycho- social stress.6,7 Anxiety disorders are known to be much more common among women. This is consistent with the finding of Krogstad et al. that among controls sweating was reported more often by men, while among the hyperhidrosis group sweating was reported more often among women."

"A surgical treatment for anxiety-triggered palmar hyperhidrosis is not unlike treating tearfulness in major depression by severing the nerves to the lacrimal glands. We have recently made a similar argument advocating a psychopharmacological, rather then a surgi- cal, first-line treatment for blushing.9" 
(Journal Compilation - 2006 British Association of Dermatologists - British Journal of Dermatology 2006, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2133.2006.07547.x)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

"Surgical treatment of facial blushing requires careful patient selection. The effect is a normalization of the threshold to trigger facial blushing especially in social situations."

Clin Auton Res (2003) 13 [Suppl 1] : I/26 – I/30 

"So when the sympathetic nervous system is activated,

it alerts the hypothalamus, which alerts the pituitary gland, which tells the adrenal gland (atop your kidney) to make stress chemicals. Those chemicals travel through the bloodstream and affect your whole body. In your brain, they inflame the amygdala (increasing the intensity of sadness, fear, and anger) and block the hippocampus from laying down memory tracks.
If these chemicals continue for any length of time, the hippocampus shrinks and the amygdala enlarges. You can see these changes on an MRI brain scan. Parts of the cortex (the gray area on the outside that does most of your thinking) are also affected, including the VMPF (ventral medial prefrontal cortex), which controls emotions by calming the amygdala. Other areas in our cortex that help us speak and think coherently also can decrease in size.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Peripheral, autonomic regulation of locus coeruleus noradrenergic neurons in brain: putative implications for psychiatry and psychopharmacology

the new data seem to allow a better understanding of how autonomic vulnerability or visceral dysfunction may precipitate or aggravate mental symptoms and disorder.

T. H. Svensson1
(1)Department of Pharmacology, Karolinska Institute, Box 60 400, S-104 01 Stockholm, Sweden
Received: 20 June 1986 Revised: 25 November 1986

"Locus coeruleus (LC) is located in the ventrallateral side of the fourth ventricle in the pontine, most of which are noradrenergic neurons projecting to the cortex, cingulate cortex, amygdala nucleus, thalamus, hypothalamus, olfactory tubercles, hippocampus, cerebellum, and spinal cord (Swanson and Hartman, 1975). Norepinephrine (NE) released from the nerve terminal of LC neurons contributes to about 70% of the total extracellular NE in primates brain (Svensson, 1987). It plays important roles not only in arousal, attention, emotion control, and stress (reviewed in Aston-Jones and Cohen, 2005Berridge and Waterhouse, 2003Bouret and Sara, 2005Nieuwenhuis et al., 2005Sara and Devauges, 1989Valentino and Van Bockstaele, 2008), but also in sensory information processing (Svensson, 1987). LC directly modulates the somatosensory information from the peripheral system. Under the stress condition, LC could completely inhibit the input from painful stimuli through the descending projection to the spinal cord (Stahl and Briley, 2004). Dys-regulations of LC neurotransmission have been suggested to be involved in physical painful symptoms, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sleep/arousal disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, schizophrenia, and Parkinson's disease (reviewed in Berridge and Waterhouse, 2003Grimbergen et al., 2009Mehler and Purpura, 2009)."

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

reduction in hypothalamic dopamine after sympathectomy, which leads to an increase in serum prolactin level

At this point, it is particularly interesting to recall the earlier reports of middle ear bone remodeling in the gerbil after chemical sympathectomy by guanethidine sulfate (86) or hydroxydopamine (85). Although these neurotoxins do eliminate sympathetic activity, there are, in parallel, major central consequences. In particular, both treatments reduce hypothalamic dopamine, which leads to an increase in serum prolactin levels.


"Again, patients admitted with any malignancy, cholecystectomy, thyroidectomy, renal disease, cardiac disease, sympathectomy, or vascular graft were eliminated as controls."

This article reviews the evidence that neuroleptics may increase the risk of breast cancer via their effects on prolactin secretion.
Paul M. Schyve; Francine Smithline; Herbert Y. Meltzer
Neuroleptic-induced Prolactin Level Elevation and Breast Cancer: An Emerging Clinical Issue
Arch Gen Psychiatry, Nov 1978; 35: 1291 - 1301.
Body temperature is highly correlated with plasma prolactin in thermally stressed men
(78), suggesting that normal heat defense is associated with decreased central dopamine, and
intraventricular haloperidol produces a coordinated heat-defense response (79). These reports refute a
unique or essential role for central dopamine antagonism in neuroleptic malignant syndrome hyperthermia
and provide additional evidence that state-dependent factors are important mediators of dopamine
antagonist effects. 
There is substantial evidence to support the hypothesis that dysregulated sympathetic nervous system hyperactivity is responsible for most, if not all, features of neuroleptic malignant syndrome. A predisposition to more extreme sympathetic nervous system activation and/or dysfunction in response to emotional or psychological stress may constitute a trait vulnerability for neuroleptic malignant syndrome, which, when coupled with state variables such as acute psychic distress or dopamine receptor antagonism, produces the clinical syndrome of neuroleptic malignant syndrome. This hypothesis provides a more comprehensive explanation for existing clinical data than do the current alternatives.


Sunday, December 7, 2014

The stellate ganglion has shown to have second and third order neurons that connect with hypothalamus, amygdala, infralimbic, insular and ventromedial temporal cortical regions

"In the course of mapping the sympathetic nervous system to the related regions of the cerebral cortex, Westerhaus and Loewy used pseudorabies virus injections to identify connections of the stellate ganglion. Pseudorabies virus allows identification of neural pathway connections that are 2–3 synapses from the point of injection of the virus. In this manner, the use of pseudorabies virus injection is used to identify cortical areas connected to the stellate ganglion.

The stellate ganglion has shown to have second and third order neurons that connect with hypothalamus, amygdala, infralimbic, insular and ventromedial temporal cortical regions.

These data provides objective, anatomical support for the stellate ganglion interaction with several key structures known to modulate core body temperature, CRPS and PTSD."


Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Similar low values are observed in patients with sympathectomy and in patients with tetraplegia"

"Patients with progressive autonomic dysfunction (including diabetes) have little or no increase in plasma noradrenaline and this correlates with their orthostatic intolerance (Bannister, Sever and Gross, 1977). In patients with pure autonomic failure, basal levels of noradrenaline are lower than in normal subjects (Polinsky, 1988). Similar low values are observed in patients with sympathectomy and in patients with tetraplegia. (p.51)

The finger wrinkling response is abolished by upper thoracic sympathectomy. The test is also abnormal in some patients with diabetic autonomic dysfunction, the Guillan-Barre syndrome and other peripheral sympathetic dysfunction in limbs. (p.46)

Other causes of autonomic dysfunction without neurological signs include medications, acute autonomic failure, endocrine disease, surgical sympathectomy . (p.100)

Anhidrosis is the usual effect of destruction of sympathetic supply to the face. However about 35% of patients with sympathetic devervation of the face, acessory fibres (reaching the face through the trigeminal system) become hyperactive and hyperhidrosis occurs, occasionally causing the interesting phenomenon of alternating hyperhidrosis and Horner's Syndrome (Ottomo and Heimburger, 1980). (p.159)

Disorders of the Autonomic Nervous System
By David Robertson, Italo Biaggioni
Edition: illustrated
Published by Informa Health Care, 1995
ISBN 3718651467, 9783718651467"

'via Blog this'

Patients with surgical sympathectomies have low plasma levels of DA and NE [49], whereas EPI:NE ratios are increased

Patients with surgical sympathectomies have low plasma levels of DA and NE [49], whereas EPI:NE ratios are increased (unpublished observations), suggesting decreased sympathetically mediated exocytosis and compensatory adrenomedullary activation.   

Catecholamines 101, David S. Goldstein Clin Auton Res (2010) 20:331–352

Thursday, November 27, 2014

"Most patients note an immediate "calming effect" once the injection is done"

Stellate ganglion blocks have traditionally been done for pain conditions.  However, there is evidence showing some benefits for other conditions such as hyperhydrosis (excessive sweating), hot flashes,  and  painful conditions such as complex regional pain syndrome and atypical facial pain.  The stellate ganglion is the fusion of the inferior cervical ganglion and the first thoracic ganglion that mediate sympathetic fibers, also known as the adrenaline (fight or flight) nerves.  It is thought that PTSD may have sympathetically mediated pathways that are amenable to blocking this nerve structure.  Most patients note an immediate "calming effect" once the injection is done.  Some are even able to stop medications and have social interactions in public that they otherwise would not have been able to do.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Stellate ganglion block alleviates anxiety, depression

Among veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment with a single stellate ganglion block could help alleviate anxiety, depression and psychological pain rapidly and for long-term use, according to results presented at the American Society for Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting.
Researchers performed a single right-sided stellate ganglion block (SGB) using 7 mL of 2% lidocaine and 0.25% bupivacaine under fluoroscopic guidance on 12 veterans with military-related, chronic extreme post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with hyperarousal symptoms. At baseline, 1 week, 1 month, 3 months and 6 months post-block, PTSD symptoms were assessed using the Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) score and the Post-traumatic Stress Self Report (PSS-SR) scale. Depressive symptoms were assessed with the Beck Depression Inventory version 2. Anxiety related symptoms with a generalized anxiety scale score and the State-Trait Anxiety Index and psychological pain with the Mee-Bunney scale.
Study results showed the block was greatly effective in 75% of participants, with a positive effects taking effect often within minutes of SGB. At week 1, there was significant reduction of both CAPS and PSS-SR and researchers found CAPS approached normal-to-mild PTSD levels by 1 month. Anxiety, depression and psychological pain scores also were significantly reduced by the block, according to study results. Overall, positive effects remained evident at 3 months, but were generally gone by 6 months.
Alkire MT. A1046. Presented at: American Society for Anesthesiologists Annual Meeting;  Oct. 11-15, 2014; New Orleans.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hemodynamic changes in vertebral and carotid arteries were observed after sympathicotomy for hyperhidrosis

T3 sympathicotomy segment was the most frequent transection done (95.83%), as only ablation (25%) or in association with T4 (62.50%) or with T2 (8.33%). It was observed increase in RI and PI of the common carotid artery (p < 0.05). The DPV of internal carotid artery decreased in both sides (p < 0.05). The SPV and the DPV of the right and left vertebral arteries also increased (p < 0.05). Asymmetric findings were observed so that, arteries of the right side were the most frequently affected.
CONCLUSIONS: Hemodynamic changes in vertebral and carotid arteries were observed after sympathicotomy for PH. SPV was the most often altered parameter, mostly in the right side arteries, meaning significant asymmetric changes in carotid and vertebral vessels. Therefore, the research findings deserve further investigations to observe if they have clinical inferences.

Monday, October 13, 2014

"this hyperhidrosis seems to be reflex, mediated neurologically in the sweating regulatory center in the hypothalamus"

The so called 'compensatory sweating' is NOT compensatory:

"When patients with intense CH are analyzed, we observe that the amount of released sweat seems to be much greater than was that occurring at the primary hyperhidrosis location, not translating a simple compensation or sweating transference from one site to the other. Therefore, this hyperhidrosis seems to be reflex, mediated neurologically in the sweating regulatory center in the hypothalamus.

In order to avoid this neurologically mediated reflex, the sympathetic afferents to the hypothalamus should be restored, allowing negative feedback to block the efferent projection of the sweating regulatory center on the periphery.(14) Therefore, only the reinnervation of the sectioned sympathetic chain could recover this reflex."



Jornal Brasileiro de Pneumologia

Print version ISSN 1806-3713

J. bras. pneumol. vol.34 no.11 São Paulo Nov. 2008                        

Guidelines for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of compensatory hyperhidrosis*

Roberto de Menezes LyraI; José Ribas Milanez de CamposII; Davi Wen Wei KangIII; Marcelo de Paula LoureiroIV; Marcos Bessa FurianV; Mário Gesteira CostaVI; Marlos de Souza CoelhoVII
IThoracic Surgeon. Hospital do Servidor Público Estadual de São Paulo - HSPE/SP, São Paulo Hospital for State Civil Servants - São Paulo, Brazil
IIAssistant Professor in the Department of Thoracic Surgery. University of São Paulo Hospital das Clínicas, São Paulo, Brazil
IIIThoracic Surgeon. Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein - HIAE - São Paulo, Brazil
IVGeneral Surgeon. Hospital Nossa Senhora das Graças, Curitiba, Brazil
VThoracic Surgeon. Hospital Santa Lúcia, Cruz Alta, Brazil
VIAdjunct Professor of Surgery. University of Pernambuco School of Medical Sciences, Recife, Brazil
VIIAdjunct Professor of Surgery. Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Paraná - PUCPR, Pontifical Catholic University of Paraná Curitiba, Brazil



Tuesday, September 30, 2014

distinct patterns of peripheral physiological activity are associated with different emotion

 2006 Jul;61(1):5-18. Epub 2006 Jan 24.

Basic emotions are associated with distinct patterns of cardiorespiratory activity.


The existence of specific somatic states associated with different emotions remains controversial. In this study, we investigated the profile of cardiorespiratory activity during the experience of fear, anger, sadness and happiness. ECG and respiratory activity was recorded in 43 healthy volunteers during the recall and experiential reliving of one or two potent emotional autobiographical episodes and a neutral episode. Univariate statistics indicated that the four emotions differed from each other and from the neutral control condition on several linear and spectral indices of cardiorespiratory activity. Dependent variables were further reduced to five physiologically meaningful factors using an exploratory principal component analysis (PCA). Multivariate analyses of variance and effect size estimates calculated on those factors confirmed the differences between the four emotion conditions. A stepwise discriminant analyses predicting emotions using the PCA factors led to a classification rate of 65.3% for the four emotions (chance=25%; p=0.001) and of 72.0-83.3% for pair-wise discrimination (chance=50%; p's<0.05). These findings may be considered preliminary in view of the small sample on which the multivariate approach has been applied. However, this study emphasizes the need to better characterize the multidimensional factors involved in cardio-respiratory regulation during emotion. These results are consistent with the notion that distinct patterns of peripheral physiological activity are associated with different emotions. 


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Depletion of peripheral sympathetic noradrenaline led to significant decrements in escape and avoidance responding

PsycNET - Option to Buy: "Chemical sympathectomy and avoidance learning in the rat.

By Di Giusto, E. L.; King, M. G.
Journal of Comparative and Physiological Psychology, Vol 81(3), Dec 1972, 491-500.
Reports results of 5 experiments with male Wistar rats (N = 108). Depletion of peripheral sympathetic noradrenaline induced by administration of 6-hydroxydopamine, ip, led to significant decrements in escape and avoidance responding when the required response was difficult, but not when it was relatively easy to acquire. Results are similar to previous findings obtained with adrenal-demedullated Ss. Findings clarify the role of the sympathetic nervous system in the motivation of behavior elicited by aversive stimulation. Implications for 2-process theory and the "Kamin effect," or "learned helplessness," are discussed. (40 ref.) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)"

effect of bilateral cervical sympathetic ganglionectomy on the architecture of pial arteries

The influence of the cranial sympathetic nerves on the architecture of pial arteries in normo- and hypertension was examined. For this purpose the effect of bilateral superior cervical ganglionectomy was evaluated in normotensive rats (WKY) and stroke-prone spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHRSP). The operations were performed at the age of 1 wk, which is just prior to the onset of ganglionic transmission. The length of the inner media contour was measured and the media cross-sectional area was determined planimetrically, with computerized digitalization of projected photographic images of transversely sectioned pial arteries. Four wk after sympathectomy there was a 20% reduction in media cross-sectional area and a consequent reduction in the ratio between media area and calculated luminal radius in the major pial arteries at the base of the brain in WKY but not in SHRSP. Conversely, in small pial arteries linear regression analysis showed that in WKY subjected to ganglionectomy the relationship between media cross-sectional area and luminal radius was significantly larger in arteries with a radius less than 21 microns compared to untreated WKY. No such effect was seen in the corresponding SHRSP vessels. In addition, the cross-sectional area of the internal elastic membrane (IEM) in the basilar arteries of WKY was measured by means of a computerized image-analysing system. Mean cross-sectional area of the IEM was approximately 45% larger following SE than in control animals. The present findings propose a 'trophic' role for the sympathetic perivascular nerves in large pial arteries of the rat. The increased media-radius ratio in the small pial arteries of the WKY following sympathectomy might reflect a compensatory hypertrophy due to reduced protection from the larger arteries against the pressure load. The inability to detect any morphometrically measurable effect of the sympathectomy in the cerebral arteries of SHRSP is probably explained by a marked growth-stimulating effect of the high pressure load in these animals.


bilateral ganglionectomy resulted in minor decreases in the cerebrovascular contents of ACh

The effects of uni- or bilateral surgical ablation of the SPG, a putative origin of the cholinergic cerebrovascular innervation, were investigated on these two specific cholinergic markers at various postoperative times. ChAT activity and ACh levels were enriched in the cerebral as compared to the peripheral arteries. Among the cerebrovascular tissues tested, ACh levels were particularly high in the circle of Willis and the vertebrobasilar segments and, to a lesser extent, in the middle cerebral artery. Lower levels were found in the small pial vessels and choroid plexus. Overall, ChAT activity measured in different arterial beds paralleled the distribution of ACh. Following uni- or bilateral removal of the SPG, slight reductions were observed in ChAT activity in rostral cerebral arteries and pial vessels overlying the frontal cortex. Similarly, bilateral ganglionectomy resulted in minor decreases in the cerebrovascular contents of ACh in these same vascular segments.

J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 1991 Mar;11(2):253-60.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Regional cerebral blood flow correlates with heart period and high-frequency heart period variability

 2004 Jul;41(4):521-30.

Regional cerebral blood flow correlates with heart period and high-frequency heart period variability during working-memory tasks: Implications for the cortical and subcortical regulation of cardiac autonomic activity.

Erratum in

  • Psychophysiology. 2004 Sep;41(5):807.


The aim of the present study was to characterize the functional relationships between behaviorally evoked regional brain activation and cardiac autonomic activity in humans. Concurrent estimates of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF; obtained by positron emission tomography), heart period, and high-frequency heart period variability (HF-HPV; an indicator of cardiac parasympathetic activity) were examined in 93 adults (aged 50-70 years) who performed a series of increasingly difficult working-memory tasks. Increased task difficulty resulted in decreased heart period (indicating cardioacceleration) and decreased HF-HPV (indicating decreased cardiac parasympathetic activity). Task-induced decreases in heart period and HF-HPV were associated with concurrent increases and decreases in rCBF to cortical and subcortical brain regions that are speculated to regulate cardiac autonomic activity during behavioral processes: the medial-prefrontal, insular, and anterior cingulate cortices, the amygdala-hippocampal complex, and the cerebellum. These findings replicate and extend a small number of functional neuroimaging studies that suggest an important role for both cortical and subcortical brain systems in human cardiac autonomic regulation.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

after sympathectomy "He becomes more quiet, less impressionable, less agitated, tremor diminishes..."

Everyone seems to agree that when sympathectomy is successful the subjective symptoms of the patient show a considerable improvement. He becomes more quiet, less impressionable, less agitated, tremor diminishes, tachycardia, however, is little influenced or not at all, and the same is true for goiter.
   In conclusion it may be said that the results obtained from sympathectomy when present are very immediate. The ocular symptoms are the ones most happily influenced by the operation; the others such as nervousness, tachycardia, and goiter are problematical.
   Remote Results.- In going over the cases operated by Jaboulay as far back as twelve and fourteen years, A. Charlier was able to find that a number of his patients had been cured completely. He was able to retrace 18 out of the 31 cases operated by Jaboulay from four to fourteen years before. Three of them were completely cured, 9 of them were so ameliorated that the subjective cure was a complete one, the objective cure, however, being incomplete; the 6 remaining cases were doubtful. All these patients experienced considerable benefit to their nervous symptoms; improved and no trophic disturbances of any sort followed as the result of sympathectomy.

Friday, August 8, 2014

An absence of afferent feedback concerning autonomically generated bodily states was associated with subtle impairments of emotional responses

nature neuroscience • volume 4 no 2 • february 2001 

Neuroanatomical basis for first- and second-order representations of bodily states
H. D. Critchley1,2, C. J. Mathias2,3 and R. J. Dolan1

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Effects of Thoracic Sympathotomy on Heart Rate Variability in Patients with Palmar Hyperhidrosis

Compared with preoperative variables, there was a significant increase in the number of adjacent normal R wave to R wave (R- R) intervals that differed by more than 50 ms, as percent of the total number of normal RR intervals (pNN50); root mean square difference, the square root of the mean of the sum of squared differences between adjacent normal RR intervals over the entire 24-hour recording; standard deviation of the average normal RR in- terval for all 5-minute segments of a 24-hour recording (SDANN) after thoracic sympathotomy. Low frequencies (LF, 0.04 to 0.15 Hz) decreased significantly.
Yonsei Med J 53(6):1081-1084, 2012


Wednesday, August 6, 2014

anatomical variations

"denervation of the T2-T3 thoracic sympathetic ganglia extends to the craniofacial region in 20.75% of cases, an area that is classically attributed to node T1."

Bronconeumol. 2003, 39: 19-22. - Vol 39 Núm.01

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Patients with surgical sympathectomies have low plasma levels of DA and NE [49], whereas EPI:NE ratios are increased

Patients with surgical sympathectomies have low plasma levels of DA and NE [49], whereas EPI:NE ratios are increased (unpublished observations), suggesting decreased sympathetically mediated exocytosis and compensatory adrenomedullary activation.

Catecholamines 101, David S. Goldstein
Clin Auton Res (2010) 20:331–352

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

The Change in Regional Cerebral Oxygen Saturation after Stellate Ganglion Block

The Change in Regional Cerebral Oxygen Saturation after Stellate Ganglion Block: "Korean J Pain. Jun 2010; 23(2): 142–146.
Published online May 31, 2010.


Stellate ganglion block (SGB) is known to increase blood flow to the innervations area of the stellate ganglion. Near infrared spectroscopy reflects an increased blood volume and allows continuous, non-invasive, and bedside monitoring of regional cerebral oxygen saturation (rSO2). We investigated the influence of SGB on bilateral cerebral oxygenation using a near infrared spectroscopy.


SGB was performed on 30 patients with 1% lidocaine 10 ml using a paratracheal technique at the C6 level and confirmed by the presence of Horner's syndrome. The blood pressure (BP), heart rate (HR) and rSO2 were measured before SGB and 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes after SGB. Tympanic temperature of each ear was measured prior to SGB and 20 minutes after SGB.


The increments of the rSO2 on the block side from the baseline were statistically significant at 5, 10, 15 and 20 minutes. The rSO2 on the non-block side compared with the baseline, however, decreased at 15 and 20 minutes. The difference between the block and the non-block sides was significant at 15 and 20 minutes. The BP at 10, 15 and 20 minutes was increased and the HR was increased at 10 and 15 minutes.


We observed an increment of the rSO2 on the block side from the baseline; however, the rSO2 on the non-block side decreased."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Local distribution of the effects of sympathetic stimulation on cerebral blood flow in the rat

Local distribution of the effects of sympathetic s... [Brain Res. 1990] - PubMed - NCBI: "Although the density of sympathetic fibres on the cerebral vessels varies regionally, the cerebral circulatory effects of electrical stimulation of these fibres on the cerebral circulation have not been mapped in detail. In the present study the effects of sympathetic stimulation on local cerebral blood flow were examined in urethane anaesthetized rats using autoradiographic techniques. Initial experiments determined that unilateral stimulation of the superior cervical ganglion altered cerebral circulatory dynamics to an extent sufficient to reduce cerebral venous pressure by 1.1 +/- 0.2 mm Hg. Local cerebral blood flow was measured with iodo[14C]antipyrine autoradiography in 4 groups: (1) sham; (2) sham + unilateral sympathetic nerve section; (3) unilateral stimulation of the superior cervical ganglion; and (4) unilateral sympathetic stimulation + contralateral sympathetic nerve section. In the sham animals, local cerebral blood flow was equivalent in the innervated and denervated hemispheres. During stimulation plus contralateral nerve section, a regionally heterogeneous response to sympathetic stimulation was observed. Local cerebral blood flow was reduced 11-19% on the stimulated side in over one half (15/28) of the regions examined (e.g. thalamic nuclei and caudate nucleus). In general, ipsilateral reductions in flow occurred in the territory supplied by the middle cerebral, posterior cerebral and posterior communicating arteries and their branches. Cerebral blood flow was symmetrical in regions supplied by the basilar and anterior cerebral arteries and in some midline structures."

Effects of stellate ganglion block on cerebral haemodynamics as assessed by transcranial Doppler ultrasonography

Background. Stellate ganglion block (SGB) causes vasodilatation in the skin of the head and neck

because of regional sympathetic block. Its effects on cerebral haemodynamics, in health or in

disease, are not clear. We evaluated the effects of SGB on ipsilateral middle cerebral artery flow

velocity (MCAFV), estimated cerebral perfusion pressure (eCPP), zero flow pressure (ZFP),

carbon dioxide reactivity (CO2R) and cerebral autoregulation using transcranial Doppler

ultrasonography (TCD).

Methods. Twenty male patients, with pre-existing brachial plexus injury, and undergoing SGB for

the treatment of complex regional pain syndrome of the upper limb, were studied. For SGB, 10 ml

of plain lidocaine 2% was used and the onset of block was confirmed by presence of ipsilateral

Horner’s syndrome. The MCAFV, eCPP, ZFP, CO2R, and cerebral autoregulation were assessed

before and after SGB using established TCD methods. The changes in these variables were

analysed using Wilcoxon’s signed rank test.

Results. The block caused a significant decrease in MCAFV from median (inter-quartile range)

value of 61 (53, 67) to 55 (46, 60) cm s 1, a significant increase in eCPP from 59 (51, 67) to

70 (60, 78) mm Hg, and a significant decrease in ZFP from 32 (26, 39) to 25 (16, 30) mm Hg. There

were no significant changes in CO2R or cerebral autoregulation.


Sunday, July 27, 2014

NE is critical for the acquisition of spatial working memory

The adrenergic system (utilizing norepinephrine, NE, as a neurotransmitter) is implicated in hippocampus-based learning and memory, in addition to its well known peripheral actions mediated by the sympathetic nervous system.

Using a more standard variation of the above protocol on the radial arm maze, we used this apparatus to test the role of NE in spatial working memory. We found significant, robust differences between Dbh-/- and Dbh+/- mice after a training period of approximately 14 days. To test whether this difference was due to a potential deficit in acquisition or performance, we restored NE in Dbh-/- mice by administering the synthetic precursor L-DOPS after four days of stable behavioral differences between genotypes. In a separate trial, we also restored NE signaling with dexmedetomidine, a selective alpha-2 receptor agonist. A gradual improvement by Dbh-/- mice to levels comparable to Dbh+/- mice indicated that NE is critical for the acquisition of spatial working memory, and suggested a role for the alpha-2 adrenergic receptor in the processing of spatial working memory.

Suggested Citation

Gertner, Michael J. and Thomas, Steven A., "The role of norepinephrine in spatial reference and spatial working memory" 08 June 2006. CUREJ: College Undergraduate Research Electronic Journal, University of Pennsylvania, http://repository.upenn.edu/curej/18.
Date Posted: 08 June 2006
This document has been peer reviewed.
Michael J. Gertner, University of Pennsylvania
Steven A. Thomas, University of Pennsylvania