Human brain mapping of autonomic control

Grant number: 509089 | Funding period: 2008 - 2010



Nerves called sympathetic nerves stimulate the heart and raise blood pressure. The brain drives them when we are excited or frightened. It also over-drives them in cardiovascular diseases, and this makes matters worse. This project will use MRI brain scanning to investigate, for the first time, how the cerebral cortex and brain stem act together to control sympathetic nerves. Understanding how this system works normally will help tell us how it may malfunction, and what we can do to correct it.