PTSD and Sympathetic Action Potential Discharge Pattern

Women develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at twice the rate of men, and women with PTSD are at higher risk for developing hypertension. Yet little research has been done to date investigating the mechanisms mediating the link between PTSD and cardiovascular disease in women. The study by Yoo et al. seeks to change that. Associate Editor Donal O’Leary (Wayne State University School of Medicine) interviews lead author Qi Fu (The Institute for Exercise and Environmental Medicine, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas) and expert Adam Case (University of Nebraska Medical Center) about the groundbreaking and clinically-relevant study by Fu and co-authors. The authors showed for the first time that women with PTSD had a greater pressor response during the cold pressor test compared with healthy women. What insights did Fu and collaborators uncover when they compared results from traditional methods to quantify integrated nerve signals, and a novel wavelet-based technique used to identify differences in MSNA responses to cold pressor test between women with PTSD and healthy women? Do Fu and Case anticipate that the current COVID-19 pandemic, while undeniably tragic, may eventually open new avenues of discovery for how women with PTSD differ from healthy counterparts and men? Listen and learn.


Jeung-Ki Yoo, Mark B. Badrov, Mu Huang, Ryan A. Bain, Raymond P. Dorn, Elizabeth H. Anderson, Jessica L. Wiblin, Alina Suris, J. Kevin Shoemaker, Qi Fu Abnormal sympathetic neural recruitment patterns and hemodynamic responses to cold pressor test in women with posttraumatic stress disorder Am J Physiol Heart Circ Physiol, published April 27, 2020. DOI: 10.1152/ajpheart.00684.2019

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