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July 1972

The Influence of Sympathetic Nervous Activity on Cerebral Blood Flow

Author Affiliations

Glasgow, Scotland
From the MRC Cerebral Circulation Research Group, Wellcome Surgical Research Institute, and the Institute of Neurological Sciences, University of Glasgow, Glasgow, Scotland.

Arch Neurol. 1972;27(1):1-6. doi:10.1001/archneur.1972.00490130003001

The effect on the cerebral blood flow (CBF) of stimulation of the cervical sympathetic nerve trunk and of intracarotid infusion of levarterenol was explored in anesthetized baboons at varying levels of arterial carbon dioxide pressure. Sympathetic stimulation reduced CBF, and this reduction was more pronounced during hypercapnia; levarterenol reduced CBF by 17% during hypercapnia. On morphological grounds and from physiological data it is argued that there is a dual control of the cerebral circulation—the extraparenchymal vessels being influenced by the sympathetic nervous system, while the intraparenchymal vessels are under local intrinsic metabolic regulation. The pial vessels are possibly influenced by both systems.

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