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Research highlights from the literature

Item Type:Article
Title:Research highlights from the literature
Creators Name:Jordan, J.
Abstract:Parasympathetic nervous system function is difficult to assess in human subjects, thus, limiting the progress of mechanistic studies. Postprandial pancreatic polypeptide release has been advocated as a test of parasympathetic function. A recent study in patients with type 1 diabetes mellitus questions the validity of this approach. A study in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans) demonstrated that neuronal choline uptake through a high-affinity choline transporter is the rate limiting step in acetylcholine synthesis. Genetic deletion of the choline transporter leads to reduction in neuronal acetylcholine and muscular dysfunction. Theoretically, choline transporter dysfunction in human subjects could result in combination of neuromuscular and autonomic dysfunction. We need better tests of parasympathetic function to find such a patient. Hypoglycemia induced autonomic dysfunction profoundly increases the risk of experiencing another hypoglycemic episode through an unknown mechanism. A study in rats suggests that peptides of the corticotrophin-releasing factor family and their respective receptors may be involved. Previous studies suggested that transcendental meditation may lower blood pressure through reduction in sympathetic activity. Now, we know how transcendental meditation influences cardiovascular risk factors and heart rate variability in patients with coronary artery disease-not much.
Keywords:Pancreatic polypeptide, Choline transporter, Acetylcholine, Diabetes mellitus, Hypoglycemia, Corticotrophin-releasing factor, Urocortin, Meditation
Source:Clinical Autonomic Research
Page Range:253-255
Date:August 2006
Official Publication:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10286-006-0362-3

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