Springer Nature is making SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 research free. View research | View latest news | Sign up for updates

Microneurographic analysis of muscle sympathetic nerve activity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

  • 42 Accesses

  • 24 Citations


Muscle sympathetic nerve activity by (microneurograph) blood pressure and heart rate has been studied in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and in age-matched normal subjects (controls) at rest and during head-up tilt. Muscle sympathetic nerve activity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients was significantly increased at rest unlike controls. There was no correlation between muscle sympathetic nerve activity and age in the patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Elevated muscle sympathetic nerve activity was present mainly in younger patients. There were no differences between blood pressure or heart rate in either group at rest or during head-up tilt in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. The increase in muscle sympathetic nerve activity following tilt in the amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients was less than in the controls, but they had no postural hypotension. The possible reasons for this observation of increased muscle sympathetic nerve activity at rest in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis are discussed.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. 1.

    Chida K, Sakamaki S, Takasu T. Alteration in autonomic function and cardiovascular regulation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.J Neurol 1989;236: 127–130.

  2. 2.

    Ziegler MG, Lake CR, Wood JH, Brooks BR. Relationship between cerebrospinal fluid noradrenaline and blood pressure in neurologic patients.Clin Exp Hypertens 1980;2: 995–1008.

  3. 3.

    Ziegler MG, Brooks BR, Lake CR, Wood JH, Enna SJ. Noradrenaline and gamma-aminobutyric acid in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Neurology 1980;30: 98–101.

  4. 4.

    Sachs C, Conradi S, Kaijser L. Autonomic function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: a study of cardiovascular responses.Acta Neurol Scand 1985;71: 373–378.

  5. 5.

    Tamura N, Shimazu K, Oh-iwa K, Kim H, Hamaguchi K. Increased sympathetic nervous activity in motor neuron disease—a hemodynamic study.Clin Neurol (Tokyo) 1983;23: 152–158 (in Japanese).

  6. 6.

    Hagbarth KE, Vallbo AB. Pulse and respiratory grouping of sympathetic impulses in human muscle nerves.Acta Physiol Scand 1968;74: 96–108.

  7. 7.

    Tsunoda S, Shiozawa Z, Mano T. Microneurographic analysis of thyrotropin-releasing hormone effects on sympathetic outflow in human muscle nerves.J Auton Nerv Syst 1988;23: 207–211.

  8. 8.

    Tsunoda S, Shindo K, Shiozawa Z, Mano T. Comparison between muscle sympathetic nerve activity and calf vascular resistance with head-up tilting in humans.J Auton Nerv Syst 1991;33: 277–281.

  9. 9.

    Smith SA. Reduced sinus arrhythmia in diabetic autonomic neuropathy: diagnostic value of an age-related normal range.Br Med J 1982;285: 1599–1601.

  10. 10.

    Kuroiwa Y, Shimada Y, Toyokura Y. Postural hypotension and low R—R interval variability in parkinsonism, spino-cerebellar degeneration, and Shy—Drager syndrome.Neurology 1983;33: 463–467.

  11. 11.

    Kuroiwa Y, Wada T, Tohgi H. Measurement of R—R interval variations in various neurological diseases.Auton Nerv Syst (Tokyo) 1986;23: 260–265 (in Japanese).

  12. 12.

    Bogucki A, Salvesen R. Sympathetic iris function in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.J Neurol 1987;234: 185–186.

  13. 13.

    Copperman R. Decreased lacrimation in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.JAMA 1974;230: 536.

  14. 14.

    Hattori T, Hirayama K, Yasuda K, Shimazaki J. Disturbance of micturition in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.Clin Neurol (Tokyo) 1983;23: 224–227 (in Japanese).

  15. 15.

    Dotson R, Ochoa J, Marchettini P, Cline M. Sympathetic neural outflow directly recorded in patients with primary autonomic failure: Clinical observations, microneurography, and histopathology.Neurology 1990;40: 1079–1085.

  16. 16.

    Kachi T, Iwase S, Mano T, Saito M, Kunimoto M, Sobue I. Effect of l-threo-3,4-dihydroxyphenylserine on muscle sympathetic nerve activities in Shy—Drager syndrome.Neurology 1988;38: 1091–1094.

  17. 17.

    Wallin BG, Sundlöf G, Eriksson BM, Dominiak P, Grobecker H, Lindblad LE. Plasma noradrenaline correlates to sympathetic muscle nerve activity in normotensive man.Acta Physiol Scand 1981;111: 69–73.

  18. 18.

    Sundlöf G, Wallin BG. The variability of muscle nerve sympathetic activity in resting recumbent man.J Physiol (Lond) 1977;272: 383–397.

  19. 19.

    Saito M, Mano T, Iwase S. Microneurographic evaluation of muscle sympathetic nerve activity in man—standard value and its reproducibility in healthy young subjects.Auton Nerv Syst (Tokyo) 1988;25: 155–162 (in Japanese).

  20. 20.

    Nogués MA, Stålberg EV. Automatic analysis of heart rate variation: II. Findings in patients attending an EMG laboratory.Muscle Nerve 1989;12: 1001–1008.

  21. 21.

    Saito M, Mano T, Iwase S, Koga K, Abe H, Yamazaki Y. Responses in muscle sympathetic activity to acute hypoxia in humans.J Appl Physiol 1988;65: 1548–1552.

  22. 22.

    Somers VK, Mark AL, Abboud FM. Interaction of baroreceptor and chemoreceptor reflex control of sympathetic nerve activity in normal humans.J Clin Invest 1991;87: 1953–1957.

  23. 23.

    Barker D, Saito M. Autonomic innervation of receptors and muscle fibres in cat skeletal muscle.Proc R Soc Lond B 1981;212: 317–332.

  24. 24.

    Hunt CC, Jami L, Laporte Y. Effects of stimulating the lumbar sympathetic trunk on cat hindlimb muscle spindles.Arch Ital Biol 1982;120: 371–384.

  25. 25.

    Grassi C, Passatore M. Action of the sympathetic system on skeletal muscle.Ital J Neurol Sci 1988;9: 23–28.

Download references

Author information

Additional information

Corresponding Author

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Shindo, K., Tsunoda, S. & Shiozawa, Z. Microneurographic analysis of muscle sympathetic nerve activity in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Clinical Autonomic Research 3, 131–135 (1993). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01818998

Download citation

Key words

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Microneurography
  • Muscle sympathetic nerve activity
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate