Measuring Cardiac Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) Activity in Toddlers - Resting and Developmental Challenges
The nervous system is the collection of specialized cells responsible for maintaining an organism’s internal environment and coordinating the interaction of an organism with the external world—from the control of essential functions such as heart rate and breathing to the movement needed to escape danger.
The vertebrate nervous system is divided into two major parts: the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The CNS includes the brain, spinal cord, and retina—the sensory tissue of the visual system. The PNS contains the sensory receptor cells for all of the other sensory systems—such as the touch receptors in the skin—as well as the nerves that carry information between the CNS and the rest of the body. Additionally, part of both the CNS and PNS contribute to the autonomic nervous system (also known as the visceral motor system). The autonomic nervous system controls smooth muscles, cardiac muscles, and glands that govern involuntary actions, such as digestion. The vertebrate brain is primarily divided into the cerebrum, cerebellum, and brainstem. The cerebrum is the largest, most anterior part of the brain that is divided into left and right hemispheres. Each hemisphere is further divided into four lobes: frontal, parietal, occipital, and temporal. The outermost layer of the cerebrum is called…
The parasympathetic nervous system is one of the two major divisions of the autonomic nervous system. This parasympathetic system is responsible for regulating many unconscious functions, such as heart rate and digestion. It is composed of neurons located in both the brain and the peripheral nervous system that send their axons to target muscles, organs, and glands.
Activation of the parasympathetic system tends to have a relaxing effect on the body, promoting functions that replenish resources and restore homeostasis. It is therefore sometimes referred to as the “rest and digest” system. The parasympathetic system predominates during calm times when it is safe to devote resources to basic “housekeeping” functions without a threat of attack or harm. The parasympathetic nervous system can be activated by various parts of the brain, including the hypothalamus. Preganglionic neurons in the brainstem and sacral part of the spinal cord first send their axons out to ganglia—clusters of neuronal cell bodies—in the peripheral nervous system. These ganglia contain the connections between pre- and postganglionic neurons and are located near the organs or glands that they control. From here, postganglionic neurons send their axons onto target tissues—generally smooth muscle, cardiac muscle, or glands. Typic…
The sympathetic nervous system—one of the two major divisions of the autonomic nervous system—is activated in times of stress. It prepares the body to meet the challenges of a demanding circumstance while inhibiting essential body functions—such as digestion—that are a lower priority at the moment.
As a student, you may have had the experience of walking into class and finding a surprise exam that you were not expecting. In the moment of realization, you may sense your gut tighten, your mouth goes dry, and your heart starts to race all of a sudden. These are signs of the sympathetic system taking over in preparation to react. While you may not be in immediate danger, the system has evolved to facilitate immediate reaction to stress or threats: blood is directed away from the digestive system and skin to increase energy supplies to muscles. Furthermore, the heart rate, and blood flow increase, and pupils dilate to maximize visual perception. At the same time, the adrenal gland releases epinephrine into the circulatory system. Your body is now primed to take action, whether that means to swiftly flee from danger or fight whatever threat may be at hand. The sympathetic nervous system can be activated by various parts of the brain, with the hypothalamus playing a particularly important role. Sympathetic instructions from the central …
Source: Laboratories of Jonas T. Kaplan and Sarah I. Gimbel—University of Southern California
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) controls the activity of the body's internal organs and regulates changes in their activity depending on the current environment. The vagus nerve, which innervates many of the internal organs, is an…
In skeletal muscles, acetylcholine is released by nerve terminals at the motor end plate-the point of synaptic communication between motor neurons and muscle fibers. Binding of acetylcholine to its receptors on the sarcolemma allows entry of sodium ions into the cell and triggers an action potential in the muscle cell. Thus, electrical signals from the brain are transmitted to the muscle. Subsequently, the enzyme acetylcholinesterase breaks down acetylcholine to prevent excessive muscle stimulation. Individuals with the disorder myasthenia gravis, develop antibodies against the acetylcholine receptor. This prevents transmission of electrical signals between the motor neuron and muscle fiber and impairs skeletal muscle contraction. Myasthenia gravis is treated using drugs that inhibit acetylcholinesterase (allowing more opportunities for the neurotransmitter to stimulate the remaining receptors) or suppress the immune system (preventing the formation of antibodies). Unlike skeletal muscles, smooth muscles present in the walls of internal organs are innervated by the autonomic nervous system and undergo involuntary contractions. Contraction is mediated by the interaction between two filament proteins-actin and myosin. The interaction of actin and myosin is closely linked to intracellular calcium concentration. In response to neurotransmitter or hormone sig…
Digestion begins with a cephalic phase that prepares the digestive system to receive food. When our brain processes visual or olfactory information about food, it triggers impulses in the cranial nerves innervating the salivary glands and stomach to prepare for food.
The cephalic phase is a conditioned or learned response to familiar foods. Our appetite or desire for a particular food modifies the preparatory responses directed by the brain. Individuals may produce more saliva and stomach rumblings in anticipation of apple pie than of broccoli. Appetite and desire are products of the hypothalamus and amygdala—brain areas associated with visceral processes and emotion. After the cephalic phase, digestion is governed by the enteric nervous system (ENS) as an unconditioned reflex. Individuals do not have to learn how to digest food; it happens regardless of whether it is apple pie or broccoli. The ENS is unique in that it functions (mostly) independent of the brain. About 90% of the communication are messages sent from the ENS to the brain rather than the other way around. These messages give the brain information about satiety, nausea, or bloating. The ENS, as part of the peripheral nervous system, is also unique in that it contains both motor and sensory neurons. For example, the ENS directs smooth muscle movements that churn and propel food al…
Source: Meghan Fashjian, ACNP-BC, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston MA
The term blood pressure (BP) describes lateral pressures produced by blood upon the vessel walls. BP is a vital sign obtained routinely in hospital and outpatient settings, and is one of the most common medical assessments performed around…
1Department of Psychology, Rutgers University, 2Rutgers University Center for Cognitive Science, Rutgers University, 3Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Department of Psychiatry, Rutgers University, 4Center for Biomedicine, Imaging and Modelling, Department of Computer Science, Rutgers University
1School of Biomedical Engineering, Science and Health Systems, Drexel University, 2Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Drexel University, 3College of Nursing and Health Professions, Drexel University, 4Department of Nutrition Sciences, Drexel University
1Department of Engineering Education, College of Engineering, Utah State University, 2Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, College of Engineering, Utah State University, 3Department of Educational Psychology, College of Education, University of Oregon
1Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine, 2Institute for Drug and Alcohol Studies, Departments of Psychiatry, Pharmacology, and Neuroscience, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine
1Department of Anesthesiology, University of California, 2Department of Medicine, University of California, 3Department of Microbiology, Immunology & Molecular Genetics, University of California, 4Department of Molecular, Cell, and Developmental Biology, University of California
1Centre de recherche du Centre Hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal (CRCHUM), 2Deparment of pharmacology and physiology, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, 3Division of Cardiovascular Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network, 4Department of surgery, Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal
1Department of Intermedia Art and Science, Waseda University, 2Research Center for Kansei Value Creation, School of Science and Technology, Kwansei Gakuin University, 3Department of Occupational Therapy, Teikyo University of Science
1Department of Biomedical Engineering, City College of New York, 2U.S. Army Research Laboratory, Aberdeen Proving Ground, 3Brain Stimulation Laboratory, Department of Psychiatry, Medical University of South Carolina, 4Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, 5Department of Neurology, Medical University of South Carolina, 6Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center
1Child Neuropsychology Section, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics and Psychotherapy, Medical Faculty, RWTH Aachen University, 2JARA-Brain Institute II, Molecular Neuroscience and Neuroimaging, RWTH Aachen & Research Centre Juelich, 3Lehrstuhl II für Mathematik, RWTH Aachen University, 4Translational Brain Research in Psychiatry and Neurology, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychosomatics, and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Aachen
1Universitätsklinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, 2Universitätsklinikum Bonn AöR, Klinik und Poliklinik für Psychiatrie, 3Universitätsklinik für Neurochirurgie am Evangelischen Krankenhaus Oldenburg, Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg, 4Klinik für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen und Gerontopsychiatrie, Abteilung für medizinische Psychologie, Klinik für Psychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Universitätsklinikum Bonn, 5Psychiatrische und Psychotherapeutische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Erlangen
1Department of Cardiology-Electrophysiology, cNEP (cardiac Neuro- and Electrophysiology research group), University Heart Center, University Hospital Hamburg-Eppendorf, 2DZHK (German Center for Cardiovascular Research), 3Institute of Experimental Cardiovascular Research, University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf
1Center for Environmental Research and Children's Health (CERCH), Berkley School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley, 2San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing, University of California, San Francisco, 3Human Development and Family Studies, Iowa State University
1Concussion Centre, Bloorview Research Institute, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, 2Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education, University of Toronto, 3Rehabilitation Sciences Institute, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, 4Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto
1Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, Malet Place Engineering Building, University College London, 2Infrared Imaging Lab, Institute for Advanced Biomedical Technology (ITAB), Department of Neuroscience, Imaging and Clinical Sciences, University of Chieti-Pescara, 3Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Alexandra House, University College London
1Department of Neurology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, 2Department of Medicine (RMH), The University of Melbourne, 3Department of Neurology, Ulster Hospital, 4National Centre for Epidemiology and Population Health, Australian National University
1Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, 2Division of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, Center for Cardiovascular and Respiratory Sciences, West Virginia University Health Sciences Center
1Birth Defects Research Centre, UCL Institute of Child Health, 2Blizard Institute, Centre for Digestive Diseases, Queen Mary University of London, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, 3Department of Clinical Genetics, Erasmus University Medical Center, Rotterdam