Clinical Autonomic Research

, Volume 18, Issue 6, pp 308–317 | Cite as

The autonomic nervous system and ischemic stroke: a reciprocal interdependence

  • Giuseppe Micieli
  • Anna Cavallini


Signs and symptoms of autonomic nervous system (ANS) dysfunction are frequently reported after ischemic or haemorrhagic stroke and in many cases they exhibit peculiar patterns in relationship with the site and the extension of brain lesion. However if an ANS disorder can cause or predispose to a stroke is far from being correctly known. Evidences in favor of a pathogenetic mechanism of an ANS dysfunction are reported for myocardial infarction and such data are likely to be appropriate also for atherothrombotic type of ischemic stroke. On the other hand, it is well known that many risk factors for this pathology are strongly correlated with an altered functioning of ANS so that a reciprocal interdependence between ANS and stroke can be hypothesized. This review points to evidence the possible relationship existing between these two conditions and suggests a quite different diagnostic and therapeutic approach to both on the basis of their pathogenetic mechanisms.


autonomic nervous system stroke atherosclerosis circadian rhythms cardiovascular dysfunction 


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© Springer 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Neurology and Stroke UnitIRCCS Istituto Clinico HumanitasRozzanoItaly
  2. 2.Stroke UnitIRCCS Istituto Neurologico C. MondinoPaviaItaly

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