Orthostatic intolerance and the postural tachycardia syndrome: genetic and environment pathophysiologies. Neurolab Autonomic Team.

Robertson D, Shannon JR, Biaggioni I, Ertl AC, Diedrich A, Carson R, Furlan R, Jacob G, Jordan J, Neurolab Autonomic Team
Pflugers Arch. 2000 441 (2-3 Suppl): R48-51

PMID: 11200979 · DOI:10.1007/s004240000353

Orthostatic intolerance is a common problem for inbound space travelers. There is usually tachycardia on standing but blood pressure may be normal, low or, rarely, elevated. This condition is analogous to the orthostatic intolerance that occurs on Earth in individuals with orthostatic tachycardia, palpitations, mitral valve prolapse, and light-headedness. Our studies during the Neurolab mission indicated that sympathetic nerve traffic is raised in microgravity and that plasma norepinephrine is higher than baseline supine levels but lower than baseline upright levels. A subgroup of patients with familial orthostatic intolerance differ from inbound space travelers in that they have an alanine-to-to-proline mutation at amino acid position 457 in their norepinephrine transporter gene. This leads to poor clearance of norepinephrine from synapses, with consequent raised heart rate. Clinical features of these syndromes are presented.

MeSH Terms (13)

Adrenergic Fibers Adult Baroreflex Family Health Humans Norepinephrine Posture Shy-Drager Syndrome Space Flight Sympathetic Nervous System Syncope Tachycardia Weightlessness

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