Physiology seeks to integrate different levels of information, studying the relationships and interactions between various parts of a biological system, to develop an understandable model of how biological systems function from the genetic level to the whole body level.
What is the autonomic nervous system?
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a regulatory system that helps the body to maintain the homeostasis and to adapt to changes of its internal or of the external environment. In each moment, ANS is controlling simultaneously blood pressure and respiration by its action on the cardiovascular and respiratory systems, respectively, but also the function of the stomach, intestine and salivary glands, liver, pancreas, lacrimal and nasopharyngeal glands, urinary bladder and sexual function. ANS has 3 major subdivisions: the sympathetic, the parasympathetic and the enteric nervous systems.
What is autonomic failure?
An imbalance between the two major ANS divisions, the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems leads to autonomic malfunction that is called autonomic failure. The disorders of ANS may result in abnormalities that affect significantly the quality of life being the more common orthostatic hypotension, sexual dysfunction, urinary incontinence or cardiac arrhythmias. Aging is also associated with ANS dysfunction that can affect elderly people's adaptation to stress. Also, other diseases such as hypertension, diabetes, obesity, stroke, peripheral neurophaties or Parkinson disease may affect ANS function.
How to study the autonomic nervous system?
Autonomic tests are conducted to see if the autonomic nervous system is functioning normally or alternatively, to try to determine its degree of dysfunction. They evaluate the changes on blood pressure, heart rate, respiration, skin temperature, nerve conduction or sweating to autonomic provocative standard manoeuvres being the majority of the tests performed in patients non-invasive and painless.
Isabel Rocha, Pharm.D, Ph.D, Professor of Physiology [Professor Associado c/ Agregação de Fisiologia]
At the Instituto de Fisiologia,
Carlos Marques-Neves, MD, PhD
Victor Gonçalves, MD, PhD
Basilio Gomes Pinto, MD, PhD
Sergio Laranjo, MD PhD Student
Vera Geraldes, BiotechD, PhD Student
Victor Vaz da Silva, Elect Eng, PhD Student
Mariana Santos, MD,
Fernando Domingos, MD, PhD Student
Mário Martins-Oliveira, MD, PhD Student
Cristiano Tavares, BioMed Eng, MSc Student
Susana Raposo, BioMed Eng, MSc Student
Gonçalo Leal, PhysD, PhD Student
Until 26th March 2009, BIC position open (1+1 year)at www.imm.ul.pt/EmpregoCientifico/
For details contact firstname.lastname@example.org
International undergraduated course on autonomic nervous system - Lisbon 23rd-30th July, 2009, Instituto de Fisiologia, Faculdade de Medicina de Lisboa & Instituto de Medicina Molecular www.spsna.pt External Link APPLICATIONS OPEN END OF MARCH 2009
Glaucoma at TSF with Professor Carlos Neves
www.fiip.org Forum do investigadores portugueses
www.physoc.org The physiological society
www.ap.org American Physiological society
www.spb.pt/fisiologia Sociedade Portuguesa de Biologia, secção de fisiologia
www.spsna.pt Sociedade Portuguesa de Sistema Nervoso Autónomo
www.efasweb.com European Federation of Autonomic Societies
www.dynakids.org Disautonomia Youth Network
www.ndrf.org National Disautonomia Research Foundation
Instituto de Medicina Molecular
Av Prof Egas Moniz, 1649-028 Lisboa, Portugal
Phone: +351 21 7999 435
Fax: + 351 21 7999 436