One of the most common symptoms in concussion are symptoms of dysautonomia via the Vagus nerve. Dysautonomia is a broad term that is used to describe a condition associated with the autonomic nervous system. The most common is Postural Orthostatic Hypotension Syndrome known as P.O.T.S. Patients with P.O.T.S. experience an abnormal jump in their heart rate when elevating from a supine (lying) position in order to get blood to their brain. If this reflex doesn’t respond correctly you could experience dizziness or fainting because of decreased blood flow to the brain.
This relationship between eye and neck muscle activity influences muscle coordination and tone during functional activities, such as reading, walking, cognition and results in muscle spasms resulting in headaches all due to a sensory mismatch.
Symptoms of dysautonomia may include:
Syncope (fainting/near fainting)
Tachycardia (fast heart rate)
Bradycardia (slow heart rate)
Low Blood Pressure
Shortness of Breath
Temperature Regulation Problems
Inability to concentrate
Difficulty with recall
Hypersensitivity to sensory stimulation
- TILT TABLE Rehab
- Pons stimulation,
- Vagus nerve,
- Trigeminal stimulation.
- Vestibular Rehab
- Neurosensory Integrator
- Cognitive rehab
- Balance and gait training
- Interactive Metronome
New research suggests that this inappropriate response is due to aberrant firing of or denervation at the Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS), located in the brainstem. Symptoms of orthostatic hypotension include exercise intolerance, excessive fatigue, thirst, lightheadedness, dizziness, anxiety, internal tremulous (also known as orthostatic tremor), sweating, nausea, irritable bowel, brain fog, tinnitus, headaches and more. Unfortunately because these symptoms occur most commonly in women they’re often dismissed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome or an anxiety based panic disorder.
Changes in blood pressure and heart rate can be due to many things. The lack of activation or stimulation which causes changes in a cell is what leads to decreased metabolic activity in the cell. Tilt table testing signals the baroreceptor which fires into the NTS letting it know of the changes so that it can respond by firing into the sympathetic system to steadily increase heart rate and blood pressure accordingly. When a cell is sitting too close to threshold a slight stimulus comes in and the cell responds inappropriately resulting in an inappropriate response.