Cerebral vasodilation and vasoconstriction associated with acute anxiety.
A randomized, between-groups, repeated measures design was used to evaluate changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF), rating scales, and physiologic indices under resting conditions, during 5% CO2 inhalation in combination with epinephrine or saline infusions, in generalized anxiety disorder patients and controls. Subjects were divided into those with decreased anxiety and mild and more severe anxiety increase. The first group was found to have most pronounced CBF increase during CO2 inhalation, with the second group showing less marked increase, and the last group the least increase. In animals, sympathetic activation limits hypercapnic cerebral vasodilation. Thus, the restricted hypercapnic cerebral vasodilation during severe anxiety may be mediated through cervical sympathetic fibers, which innervate cerebral vessels.
Mathew, RJ; Wilson, WH; Humphreys, D; Lowe, JV; Wiethe, KE
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