Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Identifying neurocircuitry controlling cardiovascular function in humans : implications for exercise control
Author: Basnayake, Shanika Deshani
ISNI:       0000 0004 2745 8417
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Restricted access.
Access from Institution:
This thesis is concerned with the neurocircuitry that underpins the cardiovascular response to exercise, which has thus far remained incompletely understood. Small animal studies have provided clues, but with the advent of functional neurosurgery, it has now been made possible to translate these findings to humans. Chapter One reviews the background to the studies in this thesis. Our current understanding of the cardiovascular response to exercise is considered, followed by a discussion on the anatomy and function of various brain nuclei. In particular, the rationale for targeting the periaqueductal grey (PAG) and the subthalamic nucleus (STN) is reviewed. Chapter Two reviews the use of deep brain stimulation (DBS), in which deep brain stimulating electrodes are implanted into various brain nuclei in humans, in order to treat chronic pain and movement disorders. This technique not only permits direct electrical stimulation of the human brain, but also gives the opportunity to record the neural activity from different brain regions during a variety of cardiovascular experiments. This chapter also gives a detailed methodological description of the experimental techniques performed in the studies in this thesis. Chapter Three identifies the cardiovascular neurocircuitry involved in the exercise pressor reflex in humans using functional neurosurgery. It shows for the first time in humans that the exercise pressor reflex is associated with significantly increased neural activity in the dorsal PAG. The other sites investigated, which had previously been identified as cardiovascular active in both animals and humans, seem not to have a role in the integration of this reflex. Chapter Four investigates whether changes in exercise intensity affect the neurocircuitry involved in the exercise pressor reflex. It demonstrates that the neural activity in the PAG is graded to increases in exercise intensity and corresponding increases in arterial blood pressure. This chapter also provides evidence to suggest that neural activity in the STN corresponds to the cardiovascular changes evoked by the remote ischaemic preconditioning stimulus in humans. Chapter Five identifies the cardiovascular neurocircuitry involved during changes in central command during isometric exercise at constant muscle tension using muscle vibration. It shows that, in humans, central command is associated with significantly decreased neural activity in the STN. Furthermore, the STN is graded to the perception of the exercise task, i.e. the degree of central command. The other sites investigated appear not to have as significant a role in the integration of central command during the light exercise task that was undertaken. Chapter Six studies the changes in muscle sympathetic nerve activity (MSNA) during stimulation of various brain nuclei in humans. Regrettably, the results presented in this chapter are not convincing enough to support the hypothesis that stimulation of particular subcortical structures corresponds to changes in MSNA. However, the cardiovascular changes that were recorded during stimulation of the different subcortical structures are congruous with previous studies in both animals and humans. Chapter Seven presents a brief summary of the findings in this thesis.
Supervisor: Paterson, David; Green, Alexander Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Physiology and anatomy ; Neuroscience ; cardiovascular function ; exercise pressor reflex ; central command ; functional neurosurgery ; deep brain stimulation ; periaqueductal grey ; subthalamic nucleus ; muscle sympathetic nerve activity