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NYMC Researchers Awarded $708,618 Grant from NIH to Study Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural Tachycardia Syndrome, the Most Common Chronic Cause of Postural Lightheadedness and Upright Confusion, Mostly Afflicts Young Women.

October 04, 2022
Julian Stewart, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pediatrics, physiology and of medicine, and Marvin Medow, Ph.D., professor of pediatrics and associate professor of physiology
Julian Stewart, M.D., Ph.D., and Marvin Medow, Ph.D.

“POTS is the most common chronic cause of postural lightheadedness and upright confusion afflicting many Americans, mostly young women,” said Dr. Medow and Dr. Stewart. “Many POTS patients hyperventilate by increasing their depth of breathing that produces tachycardia, alters blood flow and blood pooling in the body and importantly reduces brain blood flow causing ‘brain fog’. In our research, we plan to demonstrate that in young women abnormal repeated brief impairment of blood pressure and brain flow just after standing sensitizes the body’s oxygen sensor in POTS to respond as if it were in a low-oxygen environment causing hyperventilation and its consequences.

This work is an extension of decades of previous work done by these investigators, supported by several NIH grants, in which the relationships between cardiovascular, cardiopulmonary and cerebrovascular physiology have been investigated in human subjects to understand mechanisms related to orthostatic intolerance (dizziness on standing), syncope (fainting), POTS and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS).