Autonomic nervous system in schizophrenia

In patients with schizophrenia, especially before the period of psychosis and in the subacute period, changes in the autonomic nervous system are observed. This requires attention during the diagnosis and treatment of a mental disorder.

The first sign in the development of schizophrenia is a dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. This is manifested in the presence of pathological processes in the cardiovascular system, gastrointestinal tract, sleep disturbances, disturbances in the sleep cycle – sleep / wakefulness, etc. Therefore, when psychosis occurs, it is necessary to prescribe drugs that affect the autonomic nervous system.

The results of studying the parameters of the autonomic nervous system in patients with schizophrenia indicate that the parasympathetic system prevails over the sympathetic one.

Of course, the appointment of agents, toning the sympathetic nervous system, is to reduce the symptoms of schizophrenia, but at the peak of psychosis set wobble tone and the predominance of the sympathetic nervous system on the parasympathetic with affective-delusional symptomatology, also strengthening the parasympathetic nervous system – with catatonia, which reduces the efficiency simpatomimicheskih drugs and suggests the use of drugs that stimulate the parasympathetic system. It follows from this that the use of sympathicotonics during remission of schizophrenia can take place in order to prevent the recurrence of psychosis. It is known that drugs of the vagoparalytic group, in particular atropine, were previously used in the treatment of neurosis-like , sluggish forms of schizophrenia, and pilocarpine could provoke a relapse of psychosis. 

Observations of patients with schizophrenia during remission showed that the duration of remission can be predicted by the severity of the tone of the sympathetic nervous system.

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