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Title: The psychophysiology of dysautonomia
Author: Owens, A. P.
ISNI:       0000 0004 8497 6130
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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Modern theories of emotion emphasise the role of homeostatic requirements in motivating and shaping behaviour and link emotions with motor and autonomic responses to define physiological, behavioural and neurobiological phenomena initiated by the emotional valence and relevance of a stimulus. Intermittent dysautonomia is a transient but recurrent dysregulation of autonomic nervous system function, such as orthostatic intolerance (postural tachycardia syndrome, vasovagal syncope) or thermoregulatory dysfunction (essential hyperhidrosis). The sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems often work antagonistically and with organ specificity, producing definable patterns of activity, yet despite the coupling of emotion with autonomic function, the evidence for robust emotionspecific patterns remains elusive. Although psychiatric patients may report symptoms akin to intermittent dysautonomia, such as sweating, faintness or palpitations, autonomic diagnostic criteria are rarely met. However, comorbid psychological symptoms, such as subclinical anxiety and depression, are often reported in intermittent dysautonomia. Recent neuroimaging techniques have elucidated the interrelationship of autonomic and neurobiological pathophysiology and the perturbation of autonomic neuroanatomy by peripheral autonomic function and dysfunction. This thesis will investigate the complex interplay between brain and body in intermittent dysautonomia and healthy controls in order to improve our understanding of the common cognitive-affective symptomatology in vasovagal syncope (VVS), the postural tachycardia syndrome (PoTS) and essential hyperhidrosis (EH) that can complicate diagnosis and treatment. Moreover, organic conditions that provide such an overrepresentation of comorbid psychological symptoms may provide insight into cognitive-affective processes beyond autonomic medicine.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available