Cognitive functioning in orthostatic hypotension due to pure autonomic failure.

Lisa Cipolotti, Hannah C. Heims, H. Rolf Jäger, Christopher J. Mathias, Naomi H. Martin, Lisa Cipolotti, Hugo D. Critchley

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45 Citations (Scopus)


Psychophysiologicalscience proposes close interactionsbetween cognitive processes andautonomic responses, yet the consequences of autonomic failure oncognitive functioning have notbeen documented. This pilot studyinvestigates, for the first time, thecognitive profile of 14 patients withPure Autonomic Failure (PAF).Each patient was administered acomprehensive battery of neuropsychological tests and neuroimaging investigation. A numberof patients (n = 6) presented withcognitive impairment. The twomost frequent types of impairmentwere: deficits of speed and attention, and executive functioning.Impairments of free recall memory, intellectual functioning, nominal and calculation functions werealso documented, albeit in a muchlower frequency. These cognitivechanges were not always associatedwith white matter abnormalities.We speculate that the cognitive impairments associated with PAF represent consequences of systemichypotension with cerebral under-perfusion. However, a failure in integrated bodily arousal responsesduring cognitive behaviours mayalso contribute to some of the observed deficits.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)113-120
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Autonomic Research
Publication statusPublished - 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Clinical Neurology


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