Autonomic Nervous System Dysregulation in Pediatric Hypertension
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- Feber, J., Ruzicka, M., Geier, P. et al. Curr Hypertens Rep (2014) 16: 426. doi:10.1007/s11906-014-0426-z
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Historically, primary hypertension (HTN) has been prevalent typically in adults. Recent data however, suggests an increasing number of children diagnosed with primary HTN, mainly in the setting of obesity. One of the factors considered in the etiology of HTN is the autonomous nervous system, namely its dysregulation. In the past, the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) was regarded as a system engaged mostly in buffering major acute changes in blood pressure (BP), in response to physical and emotional stressors. Recent evidence suggests that the SNS plays a much broader role in the regulation of BP, including the development and maintenance of sustained HTN by a chronically elevated central sympathetic tone in adults and children with central/visceral obesity. Consequently, attempts have been made to reduce the SNS hyperactivity, in order to intervene early in the course of the disease and prevent HTN-related complications later in life.