MadSci Network: Medicine

Re: What exactly is a vagal response

Date: Fri Apr 16 14:52:18 1999
Posted By: Jeffrey Utz, M.D., Neuroscience, pediatrics, Allegheny University
Area of science: Medicine
ID: 924016906.Me

A vagal response arised from the effects of stimulation of the vagas nerves. The response includes a decrease in heart rate, blood pressure, a feeling of light- headedness (from the decreased blood pressure), and nausea. Vagal responses are caused by many things. They include suddenly getting up, pain, fear, excitement, immersion of the head in cold water, or stimulation of the coratid artery in the neck. Even going to the bathroom can cause the effect in some people.

Vagal responses can be useful, however, in rare conditions. Doctors can use them to treat people with some heart-rate irregularities. Often, they are one condition doctors must consider when determining the of fainting spells in patients. However, the are not often a cause of serious concern.

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