A Primary Care Provider's Guide to Autonomic Dysfunction Following Spinal Cord Injury
Krassioukov Andrei, Michael Stillman, Lisa A Beck
Spinal cord injury (SCI) disrupts the crucial “crosstalk” between the spinal autonomic nervous system and supraspinal control centers. Therefore, SCI may result not only in motor paralysis but also in potentially life-threatening impairments of many autonomic functions including, but not limited to, blood pressure regulation. Despite the detrimental consequences of autonomic dysregulation, management and recovery of autonomic functions after SCI is greatly underexplored. Although impaired autonomic function may impact several organ systems, this overview will focus primarily on disruptions of cardiovascular and thermoregulation and will offer suggestions for management of these secondary effects of SCI.