Scottsdale, Arizona (PRWEB) December 31, 2015
According to the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke of The National Institutes of Health, Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS) (http://www.ninds.nih.gov/disorders/postural_tachycardia_syndrome/postural_tachycardia_syndrome.htm) is one of a group of disorders that have orthostatic intolerance (OI) as their primary symptom. OI describes a condition in which an excessively reduced volume of blood returns to the heart after an individual stands up from a lying down position. The primary symptom of OI is lightheadedness or fainting. In POTS, the lightheadedness or fainting is also accompanied by a rapid increase in heartbeat of more than 30 beats per minute, or a heart rate that exceeds 120 beats per minute, within 10 minutes of rising. Anyone at any age can develop POTS, but the majority of individuals affected (between 75 and 80 percent) are women between the ages of 15 to 50 years of age.
The study was conducted by the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Seven adolescents used High-resolution, relational, resonance-based, electroencephalic mirroring, or HIRREM, to evaluate its potential impact on their symptoms and autonomic nervous system function. Dr. John Fortunato was the lead author, and Dr. Charles Tegeler was the principal investigator for the study, that was published online December 8, 2015, in Experimental Brain Research. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00221-015-4499-y
After HIRREM, the adolescents demonstrated improved cardiovascular regulation in the form of increased heart rate variability. According to Dr. Sung Lee, Director of Research at Brain State Technologies and one of the study co-authors, “Heart rate variability reflects the capacity of the heart to beat at dynamically flexible speeds, and greater variability is generally considered a marker of greater health or well-being.” Other research has shown that individuals whose heart rate tends to be more rigidly fixed have higher risk for various adverse health outcomes, and patients with POTS tend to have low heart rate variability.
The adolescents in this study also had greater symmetry in brain electrical activity at the temporal lobe regions after HIRREM, and they reported a trend for fewer POTS symptoms. Four of them discontinued a medication for blood pressure management prior to beginning the HIRREM intervention, and they were able to remain off it during and after their sessions. There were no adverse events.
With respect to the “allostatic” approach entailed by HIRREM technology, the paper explains that while interventions for POTS tend to be focused on various separate organ systems that are affected in POTS, these organ systems are all under central management by the brain. According to Dr. Lee, “an effective brain-focused intervention should have the potential for improving a range of different symptoms or organ functions in POTS, for example headache, dizziness, nausea, and blood pressure regulation, without having to target any one on its own.”
The authors concluded that “given the absence of evidence-based therapies for orthostatic intolerance associated with nausea, and side effects typically associated with pharmacological strategies directed at the autonomic nervous system, further study of allostatic neurotechnology such as HIRREM appears warranted.”
The study was funded by a research grant from The Susanne Marcus Collins Foundation, Inc., which has supported research on HIRREM at Wake Forest School of Medicine since 2011. Since 2012, the Wake Forest-Brain State team has published studies on use of HIRREM for individuals with insomnia, menopausal hot flashes, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other conditions in numerous peer-reviewed scientific journals.