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Current Autonomic Disorders Research

  • “Interstitial Cystitis Elucidation of Psychophysiologic and Autonomic Characteristics (ICEPAC)” -  T Chelimsky, PI; R01-DK083538  NIH NIDDK.  Co-Investigators: Buffington CAT, Janata, J, Chelimsky G, Hijaz A, Sanses T
    • The goal of this project is to determine the autonomic changes co-morbid with interstitial cystitis, compared to “generic” pelvic pain typified in the entity of myofascial pelvic pain. The underlying hypothesis is that interstitial cystitis is a member of the larger family of painful dysautonomias characterized by an aberrant stress response. The putative etiology of this aberrant response lies in epigenetic changes produced by an early life stress such as drug abuse during pregnancy or sexual abuse at a young age.


  • “Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) in multiple system atrophy (MSA)” - T Chelimsky PI. CTSC grant from Case Western Reserve University
    • The hypothesis of this project is that patients with mid-course MSA will show reversal of their progression when treated with ECT. The putative mechanism of this improvement would be generation of glial-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), known to be absent in a mouse model of MSA and nearly undetectable in patients with MSA, and known to be the best correlate of depression response (rise in GDNF) to ECT. 
  • Funding is being sought to study the role of estrogen in POTS (MCW medical student Rachel Sullivan), and to study fMRI aspects of painful autonomic disorders.
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Page Updated 06/17/2014