Skip to main content

Cognitive changes in ‘standing’ syndrome

Jan. 13, 2015, 8:00 AM

by Daren Diiorio

(iStock)

Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a common cause of chronic orthostatic intolerance – problems when standing – in premenopausal females. The disease is characterized by a sustained exaggerated heart rate increase upon standing, without a drop in blood pressure (orthostatic hypotension). Patients additionally report mental clouding, though this phenomenon is poorly understood.

Amy Arnold, Ph.D., MSCI, Satish Raj, M.D., MSCI, and colleagues in the Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center tested the hypothesis that POTS patients exhibit deficits in cognitive function during standardized neuropsychological testing when compared to healthy individuals. Under controlled conditions, the researchers discovered that seated POTS patients exhibited impaired selective attention, cognitive processing speeds and executive function. No differences were observed in measures of sustained attention, psychomotor speed, memory function or verbal fluency.

In the January issue of Clinical Science, the team reports that the selectivity of cognitive dysfunction observed may provide new insight into the pathophysiological mechanisms behind this disease. Further studies will probe mechanisms and potential clinical strategies to better manage associated cognitive dysfunction.

This research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (HL102387, NS065736, HL056693, TR000445, MH094535, MH088329) and the American Heart Association.

Send suggestions for articles to highlight in Aliquots and any other feedback about the column to aliquots@vanderbilt.edu

Recent Stories from VUMC News and Communications Publications

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

Vanderbilt Medicine

Marissa Benchea has CF, and she is one of hundreds of thousands of adults not only surviving but thriving with a chronic childhood disease.

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

Vanderbilt Medicine

One hundred years ago, multiple “waves” of a deadly flu swept across the world.

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Hope

A diagnosis of cancer at any age is tragic, but during the adolescent and young adult years, it’s especially complicated.

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

Momentum

Karen Dyer Young cares for patients and members of the Dayani Center who have or are recovering from cancer or a stem cell transplant.

more