Static and dynamic autonomic response with increasing nausea perception.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Nausea is a commonly occurring symptom typified by epigastric discomfort with urge to vomit. The relationship between autonomic nervous system (ANS) outflow and increasing nausea perception is not fully understood. METHODS:Our study employed a nauseogenic visual stimulus (horizontally translating stripes) while 17 female subjects freely rated transitions in nausea level and autonomic outflow was measured (heart rate, HR; heart rate variability, HRV; skin conductance response, SCR; respiratory rate). We also adopted a recent approach to continuous high-frequency (HF) HRV estimation to evaluate dynamic cardiovagal modulation. RESULTS:HR increased from baseline for all increasing nausea transitions, especially transition to strong nausea (15.0 +/- 11.4 bpm), but decreased (-6.6 +/- 4.6 bpm) once the visual stimulus ceased. SCR also increased for all increasing nausea transitions, especially transition to strong nausea (1.76 +/- 1.68 microS), but continued to increase (0.52 +/- 0.65 microS) once visual stimulation ceased. LF/HF HRV increased following transition to moderate (1.54 +/- 2.11 a.u.) and strong (2.57 +/- 3.49 a.u.) nausea, suggesting a sympathetic shift in sympathovagal balance. However, dynamic HF HRV suggested that bursts of cardiovagal modulation precede transitions to higher nausea, perhaps influencing subjects to rate higher levels of nausea. No significant change in respiration rate was found. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that increasing nausea perception is associated with both increased sympathetic and decreased parasympathetic ANS modulation. These findings corroborate past ANS studies of nausea, applying perception-linked analyses and dynamic estimation of cardiovagal modulation in response to nausea.
Project description:Previous studies reported altered autonomic nervous system (ANS) responses in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) at baseline and to colonic balloon distension. This study examined heart rate variability (HRV) and plasma catecholamines as an index of ANS responsiveness in IBS during flexible sigmoidoscopy (FS) and explored associations of HRV with clinical measures.Rome III-positive IBS patients and healthy controls completed questionnaires measuring gastrointestinal and psychological symptoms. Heart rate variability measures were calculated using electrocardiogram (ECG) data at rest and during FS. Plasma catecholamines were measured before and after the FS. Linear mixed effects models were used to compare HRV with IBS status and IBS duration across six time points. Significance was assessed at the 0.05 level.Thirty-six IBS patients (53% F, mean age 37.89) and 31 controls (58% F, mean age 37.26) participated. After adjusting for age, sex, body mass index, and current anxiety symptoms, IBS patients had a non-significant lower cardiovagal tone (P = 0.436) and higher cardiosympathetic balance (P = 0.316) at rest. During FS, controls showed a transient increase in cardiosympathetic balance and decrease in cardiovagal tone. However, IBS patients had significantly less cardiosympathetic and cardiovagal responsiveness both leading up to (P = 0.003, P = 0.005) and following (P = 0.001) this stimulus. Those with longer duration of disease had less cardiosympathetic (P = 0.014) and cardiovagal (P = 0.009) responsiveness than those with shorter duration. No differences in catecholamines between IBS and controls were found.Irritable bowel syndrome demonstrated dysregulated ANS responses to a visceral stressor which could be related to disease duration. Therefore, autonomic dysregulation is an objective physiologic correlate of IBS.
Project description:Dysregulation of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in psychiatric disorders. Music therapy (MT) has been shown to modulate heart-rate variability (HRV) and salivary stress markers, physiological markers of the ANS and HPA axes, respectively. Given the prominent role of arousal and stress physiology in many psychiatric disorders, MT has the potential to provide therapeutic benefits in psychiatry. Active MT requires patients to engage rhythmically with music; in contrast, passive MT requires patients to listen to music, eliminating the rhythmic movement seen in active MT. Yet, it remains unknown whether active or passive MT differentially modulates arousal and stress physiology. We contrasted the effects of active and passive MT experiences to examine the differential impact of rhythmic movement on the ANS and HPA axes in healthy participants. Individuals (N = 16) participated in a crossover study of 40 min of an active MT and a passive MT intervention. HRV recordings and saliva samples were collected both before and after each intervention. The high-frequency component (HF) and the ratio of low-frequency to high-frequency components (LF/HF) were calculated as cardiac markers of parasympathetic and sympathetic ANS activation, respectively. Saliva samples were analyzed for alpha-amylase and cortisol, markers of the sympathetic ANS and HPA axes, respectively. Active MT and passive MT interventions differentially modulated LF/HF, where active MT decreased LF/HF and passive MT increased LF/HF. These results indicate that MT affects the ANS and suggests that differences in engagement between active MT and passive MT lead to a differential modulation of the sympathetic ANS.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Changes in autonomic nervous system (ANS) function have been observed in a variety of psychological disorders, including posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) provides insight into the functioning of the ANS. Previous research on PTSD found lower HRV in PTSD patients compared to controls, indicating altered sympathetic and parasympathetic activity, but findings are inconsistent. The purpose of this meta-analysis was to examine differences in HRV indices between individuals with PTSD and healthy controls at baseline and during stress. METHODS:The included primary studies present an aggregate of studies analyzing different HRV indices. Examined HRV indices were standard deviation of the normalized NN-intervals (SDNN), root mean square of successive differences (RMSSD), low-frequency (LF) and high-frequency (HF) spectral components, LF/HF ratio, and heart rate (HR). Moderating effects of study design, HRV and PTSD assessment, and sample characteristics were examined via subgroup-analyses and meta-regressions. RESULTS:Random-effects meta-analyses for HRV parameters at rest revealed significant group differences for RMSSD and HF-HRV, suggesting lower parasympathetic activity in PTSD. The aggregated effect size for SDNN was medium, suggesting diminished total variability in PTSD. A small effect was found for LF-HRV. A higher LF/HF ratio was found in the PTSD sample as compared to controls. Individuals with PTSD showed significantly higher HR. During stress, individuals with PTSD showed higher HR and lower HF-HRV, both indicated by small effect sizes. CONCLUSIONS:Findings suggest that PTSD is associated with ANS dysfunction.
Project description:Attachment systems facilitate coping with stress, with previous studies demonstrating attachment figures diminishing subjective, behavioral and neural responses to social pain. Yet little is known about the physiological mechanisms governing this benefit in the context of social exclusion. This study investigated the impact of attachment (vs non-attachment) priming on affective and cardiovascular responses to social exclusion induced by the computerized "Cyberball" ball-tossing game, and the moderating influence of individual differences in attachment style, rejection sensitivity and self-construal. No significant change in high frequency heart rate variability (HF-HRV)-an index of parasympathetic activity and cardiovagal balance-was observed across the time course in the attachment priming condition, whereas the non-attachment condition showed significant fluctuation in HF-HRV-increasing during Cyberball and decreasing relative to baseline during recovery. Moreover, the benefit afforded by attachment priming on was enhanced amongst participants with lower rejection sensitivity and higher collectivistic self-construal, and those with higher anxious attachment style in the non-attachment prime group showed a trend towards increased HF-HRV during the Cyberball. Results are consistent with Social Baseline Theory, which argues that social proximity-particularly from attachment figures-protects against the metabolic costs associated with strong reactions to stress, including the preservation of cardiovagal homeostasis in this instance. Social attachments may provide an important mechanism to increase adaptive responding to the distressing experience of social exclusion.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Brainstem-focused mechanisms supporting transcutaneous auricular VNS (taVNS) effects are not well understood, particularly in humans. We employed ultrahigh field (7T) fMRI and evaluated the influence of respiratory phase for optimal targeting, applying our respiratory-gated auricular vagal afferent nerve stimulation (RAVANS) technique. HYPOTHESIS:We proposed that targeting of nucleus tractus solitarii (NTS) and cardiovagal modulation in response to taVNS stimuli would be enhanced when stimulation is delivered during a more receptive state, i.e. exhalation. METHODS:Brainstem fMRI response to auricular taVNS (cymba conchae) was assessed for stimulation delivered during exhalation (eRAVANS) or inhalation (iRAVANS), while exhalation-gated stimulation over the greater auricular nerve (GANctrl, i.e. earlobe) was included as control. Furthermore, we evaluated cardiovagal response to stimulation by calculating instantaneous HF-HRV from cardiac data recorded during fMRI. RESULTS:Our findings demonstrated that eRAVANS evoked fMRI signal increase in ipsilateral pontomedullary junction in a cluster including purported NTS. Brainstem response to GANctrl localized a partially-overlapping cluster, more ventrolateral, consistent with spinal trigeminal nucleus. A region-of-interest analysis also found eRAVANS activation in monoaminergic source nuclei including locus coeruleus (LC, noradrenergic) and both dorsal and median raphe (serotonergic) nuclei. Response to eRAVANS was significantly greater than iRAVANS for all nuclei, and greater than GANctrl in LC and raphe nuclei. Furthermore, eRAVANS, but not iRAVANS, enhanced cardiovagal modulation, confirming enhanced eRAVANS response on both central and peripheral neurophysiological levels. CONCLUSION:7T fMRI localized brainstem response to taVNS, linked such response with autonomic outflow, and demonstrated that taVNS applied during exhalation enhanced NTS targeting.
Project description:Many studies have revealed the influences of music, and particularly its tempo, on the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and respiration patterns. Since there is the interaction between the ANS and the respiratory system, namely sympatho-respiratory coupling, it is possible that the effect of musical tempo on the ANS is modulated by the respiratory system. Therefore, we investigated the effects of the relationship between musical tempo and respiratory rate on the ANS. Fifty-two healthy people aged 18-35 years participated in this study. Their respiratory rates were controlled by using a silent electronic metronome and they listened to simple drum sounds with a constant tempo. We varied the respiratory rate-acoustic tempo combination. The respiratory rate was controlled at 15 or 20 cycles per minute (CPM) and the acoustic tempo was 60 or 80 beats per minute (BPM) or the environment was silent. Electrocardiograms and an elastic chest band were used to measure the heart rate and respiratory rate, respectively. The mean heart rate and heart rate variability (HRV) were regarded as indices of ANS activity. We observed a significant increase in the mean heart rate and the low (0.04-0.15 Hz) to high (0.15-0.40 Hz) frequency ratio of HRV, only when the respiratory rate was controlled at 20 CPM and the acoustic tempo was 80 BPM. We suggest that the effect of acoustic tempo on the sympathetic tone is modulated by the respiratory system.
Project description:Analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) is a recognized tool in the assessment of autonomic nervous system (ANS) activity. Indeed, both time and spectral analysis techniques enable us to obtain indexes that are related to the way the ANS regulates the heart rate. However, these techniques are limited in terms of the lack of thresholds of the numerical indexes, which is primarily due to high inter-subject variability. We proposed a new fetal HRV analysis method related to the parasympathetic activity of the ANS. The aim of this study was to evaluate the performance of our method compared to commonly used HRV analysis, with regard to i) the ability to detect changes in ANS activity and ii) inter-subject variability. This study was performed in seven sheep fetuses. In order to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity of our index in evaluating parasympathetic activity, we directly administered 2.5 mg intravenous atropine, to inhibit parasympathetic tone, and 5 mg propranolol to block sympathetic activity. Our index, as well as time analysis (root mean square of the successive differences; RMSSD) and spectral analysis (high frequency (HF) and low frequency (LF) spectral components obtained via fast Fourier transform), were measured before and after injection. Inter-subject variability was estimated by the coefficient of variance (%CV). In order to evaluate the ability of HRV parameters to detect fetal parasympathetic decrease, we also estimated the effect size for each HRV parameter before and after injections. As expected, our index, the HF spectral component, and the RMSSD were reduced after the atropine injection. Moreover, our index presented a higher effect size. The %CV was far lower for our index than for RMSSD, HF, and LF. Although LF decreased after propranolol administration, fetal stress index, RMSSD, and HF were not significantly different, confirming the fact that those indexes are specific to the parasympathetic nervous system. In conclusion, our method appeared to be effective in detecting parasympathetic inhibition. Moreover, inter-subject variability was much lower, and effect size higher, with our method compared to other HRV analysis methods.
Project description:Autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction (i.e., increased sympathetic and/or decreased parasympathetic activity) has been proposed to contribute to psychosis vulnerability. Yet, we still lack directed therapeutic strategies that improve ANS regulation in psychosis or at-risk states. The oxytocin system constitutes a potential therapeutic target, given its role in ANS regulation. However, whether intranasal oxytocin ameliorates autonomic regulation during emerging psychosis is currently unknown. We pooled together two datasets, one of 30 men at clinical high risk for psychosis (CHR-P), and another of 17 healthy men, who had participated in two double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomised, crossover MRI studies with similar protocols. All participants self-administered 40 IU of intranasal oxytocin or placebo using a nasal spray. We recorded pulse plethysmography during a period of 8?min at about 1?h post dosing and estimated heart rate (HR) and high-frequency HR variability (HF-HRV), an index of cardio-parasympathetic activity. CHR-P and healthy men did not differ at resting HR or HF-HRV under placebo. We found a significant condition?×?treatment effect for HF-HRV, showing that intranasal oxytocin, compared with placebo, increased HF-HRV in CHR-P but not in healthy men. The main effects of treatment and condition were not significant. In this proof-of-concept study, we show that intranasal oxytocin increases cardio-parasympathetic activity in CHR-P men, highlighting its therapeutic potential to improve autonomic regulation in this clinical group. Our findings support the need for further research on the preventive and therapeutic potential of intranasal oxytocin during emerging psychosis, where we lack effective treatments.
Project description:It is generally accepted that the activities of the autonomic nervous system (ANS), which consists of the sympathetic (SNS) and parasympathetic nervous systems (PNS), are reflected in the low- (LF) and high-frequency (HF) bands in heart rate variability (HRV)-while, not without some controversy, the ratio of the powers in those frequency bands, the so called LF-HF ratio (LF/HF), has been used to quantify the degree of sympathovagal balance. Indeed, recent studies demonstrate that, in general: (i) sympathovagal balance cannot be accurately measured via the ratio of the LF- and HF- power bands; and (ii) the correspondence between the LF/HF ratio and the psychological and physiological state of a person is not unique. Since the standard LF/HF ratio provides only a single degree of freedom for the analysis of this 2D phenomenon, we propose a joint treatment of the LF and HF powers in HRV within a two-dimensional representation framework, thus providing the required degrees of freedom. By virtue of the proposed 2D representation, the restrictive assumption of the linear dependence between the activity of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) and the LF-HF frequency band powers is demonstrated to become unnecessary. The proposed analysis framework also opens up completely new possibilities for a more comprehensive and rigorous examination of HRV in relation to physical and mental states of an individual, and makes possible the categorization of different stress states based on HRV. In addition, based on instantaneous amplitudes of Hilbert-transformed LF- and HF-bands, a novel approach to estimate the markers of stress in HRV is proposed and is shown to improve the robustness to artifacts and irregularities, critical issues in real-world recordings. The proposed approach for resolving the ambiguities in the standard LF/HF-ratio analyses is verified over a number of real-world stress-invoking scenarios.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Heart rate variability (HRV) has been used as a measure of stress and mental strain in surgeons. Low HRV has been associated with death and increased risk of cardiac events in the general population. The aim of this study was to clarify the effect of a 17-hour night shift on surgeons' HRV. METHODS:Surgeons were monitored prospectively with an ambulatory electrocardiography device for 48 consecutive hours, beginning on a precall day and continuing through an on-call (17-h shift) day. We measured HRV by frequency domain parameters. RESULTS:We included 29 surgeons in our analysis. The median pulse rate was decreased precall (median 64, interquartile range [IQR] 56-70 beats per minute [bpm]) compared with on call (median 81, IQR 70-91 bpm, p < 0.001). Increased high-frequency (HF) activity was found precall (median 199, IQR 75-365 ms2) compared with on call (median 99, IQR 48-177 ms2, p < 0.001). The low-frequency:high-frequency (LF:HF) ratio was lower precall (median 2.7, IQR 1.9-3.9) than on call (median 4.9, IQR 3.7-6.5, p < 0.001). We found no correlation between the LF:HF ratio and performance in laparoscopic simulation. CONCLUSION:Surgeons working night shifts had a significant decrease in HRV and a significant increase in pulse rate, representing sympathetic dominance in the autonomic nervous system. TRIAL REGISTRATION:NCT01623674 (www.clinicaltrials.gov).