Pan Vascular Medicine

pp 175-187

Neurovegetative Regulation of the Vascular System

  • Blair P. Grubb
  • , Daniel J. Kosinski
  • , Yousuf Kanjwal

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In order to survive, any animal must have the ability to constantly make moment by moment changes that allow its internal environment to remain constant despite dramatic shifts in external conditions. Not only must the animal be able to make adjustments for alterations in environmental temperature, humidity, and barometric pressure, it must also be able to make very rapid responses that allow it to react when exposed to an external threat that places it in danger. How is this moment by moment regulation achieved and how is it coordinated with the conscious perception of an emotion such as fear? The peripheral aspect of this regulation was first addressed in 1878 by the French physiologist Claude Bernard who noted that the internal environment (milieu intérieur) of the body is highly regulated so as to be maintained in a stable, narrow range [1]. This consistency is a result of regulatory mechanisms that limit the variability of the body state.