Dysautonomia refers to a disorder of autonomic nervous system (ANS) function. Most physicians view dysautonomia in terms of failure of the sympathetic or parasympathetic components of the ANS, but dysautonomia involving excessive ANS activities also can occur. Dysautonomia can be local, as in reflex sympathetic dystrophy, or generalized, as in pure autonomic failure. It can be acute and reversible, as in Guillain-Barre syndrome, or chronic and progressive. Several common conditions such as diabetes and alcoholism can include dysautonomia. Dysautonomia also can occur as a primary condition or in association with degenerative neurological diseases such as Parkinson's disease. Other diseases with generalized, primary dysautonomia include multiple system atrophy and familial dysautonomia. Hallmarks of generalized dysautonomia due to sympathetic failure are impotence (in men) and a fall in blood pressure during standing (orthostatic hypotension). Excessive sympathetic activity can present as hypertension or a rapid pulse rate.
|National Dysautonomia Research Foundation
P.O. Box 301
Red Wing, MN 55066-0301
|National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD)
55 Kenosia Avenue
Danbury, CT 06810
Tel: 203-744-0100 Voice Mail 800-999-NORD (6673)
315 W. 39th Street
New York, NY 10018
|Familial Dysautonomia Hope Foundation, Inc. (FD Hope)
121 South Estes Drive
Chapel Hill, NC 27514-2868
|The Multiple System Atrophy Coalition
8311 Brier Creek Parkway
Raleigh, NC 27617
|Dysautonomia Youth Network of America, Inc.
1301 Greengate Court
Waldorf, MD 20601
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Last updated December 5, 2013