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What is autonomic dysreflexia?

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This serious medical problem can happen if you’ve injured your spinal cord in your upper back. It makes your blood pressure dangerously high and, coupled with very low heartbeats, can lead to a stroke, seizure, or cardiac arrest.

This happens when your autonomic nervous system -- which controls things like breathing and digestion that you do without thinking -- overreacts to something below the damaged spinal cord. It’s sometimes called hyperreflexia. More than half of people with a spinal cord injury in the upper back get it.

From: What Is Autonomic Dysreflexia? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: “A systematic review of the management of autonomic dysreflexia following spinal cord injury.”

The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine : “Life-threatening outcomes associated with autonomic dysreflexia: A clinical review.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research.”

The Shepherd Center: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

The Reeve Foundation: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

Postgraduate Medical Journal : "Autonomic dysreflexia: a medical emergency."

Canadian Family Physician : “Autonomic dysreflexia -- Recognizing a common serious condition in patients with spinal cord injury.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on January 12, 2018

SOURCES:

Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation: “A systematic review of the management of autonomic dysreflexia following spinal cord injury.”

The Journal of Spinal Cord Medicine : “Life-threatening outcomes associated with autonomic dysreflexia: A clinical review.”

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke: “Spinal Cord Injury: Hope Through Research.”

The Shepherd Center: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

The Reeve Foundation: “Autonomic dysreflexia.”

Postgraduate Medical Journal : "Autonomic dysreflexia: a medical emergency."

Canadian Family Physician : “Autonomic dysreflexia -- Recognizing a common serious condition in patients with spinal cord injury.”

Reviewed by Brunilda Nazario on January 12, 2018

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