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A study of sympathetic nervous system function in Manipuri patients diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder

Nataraj Singh Loukrakpam, Punyabati Oinam, Y Govindaraj Singh, R K Lenin Singh, K H Ranendra, L Samananda Singh.


Background: Anxiety disorders are becoming a common mental health problem in our society. This could be attributed to the law and order situation and the socioeconomic problems faced in our social setup. However, very few people are aware of the fact that these disorders, if not treated properly in time, can give rise to major cardiovascular health problems such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, and even coronary heart diseases. Sympathetic inhibition is reported as a common associated finding.

Aims and Objective: To study involvement of autonomic nervous function, particularly sympathetic in Manipuri patients with anxiety disorders.

Materials and Methods: Sympathetic function was tested for 38 patients with anxiety disorders and 30 age- and sex-matched normal healthy (control) subjects by using a battery of two tests, that is, (1) change in systolic blood pressure on sudden standing and (2) change in diastolic blood pressure on isometric handgrip test. Apparatus used was Polyrite.

Result: Both values of the parameters were comparatively lower in patients, although it was statistically significant only in the former.

Conclusion: Patients with anxiety disorders are usually associated with sympathetic inhibition making them vulnerable to different cardiovascular disorders such as myocardial infarction, cardiac arrhythmias, and coronary heart diseases.

Key words: Autonomic Nervous System; Generalized Anxiety Disorde

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