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Pure autonomic failure.
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Handb Clin Neurol 2013 ; 117:243-57
Authors: Emily M Garland, William B Hooper, David Robertson
Autonomic Dysfunction Center, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA.
A 1925 report by Bradbury and Eggleston first described patients with extreme orthostatic hypotension and a low, steady heart rate. Evidence accumulated over the next two decades that patients with orthostatic hypotension include those with pure autonomic failure (PAF), characterized by isolated peripheral autonomic dysfunction and decreased norepinephrine synthesis; multiple system atrophy (MSA) with symptoms of a central Parkinson-like syndrome and normal resting plasma norepinephrine; and Parkinson's disease (PD), with lesions in postganglionic noradrenergic neurons and signs of autonomic dysfunction. All three disorders are classified as ?-synucleinopathies. Insoluble deposits of ?-synuclein are found in glia in MSA, whereas they take the form of neuronal cytoplasmic inclusions called Lewy bodies in PAF and PD. The exact relationship between ?-synuclein deposits and the pathology remains undetermined. PAF occurs sporadically, and progresses slowly with a relatively good prognosis. However, it has been proposed that some cases of PAF may develop a central neurodegenerative disorder. Differentiation between PAF, MSA, and PD with autonomic failure can be facilitated by a number of biochemical and functional tests and by imaging studies. Cardiac sympathetic innervation is generally intact in MSA but decreased or absent in Parkinson's disease with autonomic failure and PAF. Treatment of PAF is directed at relieving symptoms with nonpharmacological interventions and with medications producing volume expansion and vasoconstriction. Future studies should focus on determining the factors that lead to central rather than solely peripheral neurodegeneration.
PMID: 24095130 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]