Clinical Autonomic Disorders: A Training Protocol | oneedsvoice

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Clinical Autonomic Disorders: A Training Protocol

study id #: NCT02154009

condition: Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Pseudopheochromocytoma, Healthy Volunteers, Neurocardiogenic Syncope, Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

status: Recruiting


Background: – The autonomic nervous system helps control things that happen automatically in the body, like blood pressure, heart rate, and digestion. When it doesn t work properly, it s called dysautonomia. Researchers want to learn more about dysautonomias and train doctors to learn how to better diagnose them.


  • To allow people with autonomic disorders to be evaluated.
  • To help fellows in the NIH Autonomic Disorders fellowship program see a variety of diseases in their training.


  • People age 18 and older with dysautonomia; children over age 2 if they might benefit
  • Healthy adult volunteers


  • Participants will have different procedures depending on their symptoms. They will have one or more visits. They will have some but not all of the tests below.
  • Participants will have a medical history and physical exam. They may be tested for problems thinking. They may complete a symptom questionnaire. They may have their temperature and blood pressure taken.
  • Participants may have an intravenous line placed. A needle will guide a thin plastic tube into an arm vein.
  • Participants may have blood drawn several times. They may give a urine sample.
  • Participants may have an electrocardiogram.
  • How much blood a participant s heart is pumping and/or how much blood is flowing through their arm may be measured. The total amount of blood in their bloodstream may be measured.
  • Participants may have their ability to sweat and/or sense of smell tested.
  • Breathing, bowel sounds, and/or body functions may be monitored.
  • Pupil size, response to environmental temperature changes, and/or breathing may be measured.
  • Participants may have a bladder ultrasound.
  • Small pieces of skin may be taken for study.

start date: June 5, 2014

estimated completion: April 30, 2029

last updated: November 21, 2019

size / enrollment: 300

study design: Observational Model: Case-Only Time Perspective: Other

study description: Objective: This Protocol is to facilitate training of Fellows in evaluation of clinical disorders of the autonomic nervous system. The training is necessary to enable Fellows to sit for and pass the certifying examination in autonomic disorders administered by the United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties (UCNS) and to maintain UCNS accreditation of the Fellowship. A secondary objective is to include results of evaluations and testing with those from other Protocols, for future data analyses. Study population: Referred patients with known or suspected abnormalities of one or more components of the autonomic nervous system and healthy adult volunteers. Volunteers will be studied for Fellows to practice and gain normative values for pupillometric function. Design: Clinical physiologic, neuropharmacologic, and neurochemical testing will be performed during outpatient clinic visits or during inpatient admissions, depending on the individual testing schedule. Inpatient testing may be done in conjunction with other Protocols (e.g., 03-N-0004). Most of the testing under this Protocol can be completed in a single outpatient visit over the course of a workday. Testing procedures under this Protocol will be performed as needed for adequate Fellow training. In addition to autonomic medical history and physical examination, clinical testing procedures may include (A) monitoring of hemodynamics, sweating, and other physiologic parameters associated with the Valsalva maneuver, orthostasis, or external temperature manipulation; (B) venous blood sampling for assays of levels of catecholamines and related neurochemicals; (C) administration of autonomic test drugs; (D) skin biopsies; (E) blood volume measurement; (F) pupillometry; (G) gastrointestinal phonography; (H) urinary bladder ultrasound; and (I) neurobehavioral rating scales. Outcome measures: The main outcome measure is competency in clinical and laboratory evaluation of autonomic disorders, based on assessment of the Fellow by the Principal Investigator at approximately 6-month intervals. A secondary outcome measure is results obtained under this Protocol, which may be analyzed and reported as research data along with data from other Protocols.

primary outcomes:

  • Sucessful completion of the Clinical Fellowship in autonomic disorders [ Time Frame: ongoing ]

secondary outcomes:

  • Clinical samples and data from evaluation of patients with known or suspected autonomic disorders [ Time Frame: ongoing ]

inclusion criteria: Patients may be included if they are at least 18 years old and are known or suspected to have failure of one or more components of the autonomic nervous system, small fiber neuropathy, inherited dysautonomia, orthostatic intolerance, neurocardiogenic syncope, status post endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy, or disorders of catecholamine synthesis or fate. Children greater than two years old may be enrolled in this Protocol if they might personally benefit from the tests in the Protocol through the establishment of a diagnosis.

exclusion criteria: There are no exclusion criteria for the study as a whole.

sponsor: National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)

contacts: Janna Gelsomino R.N., (301) 435-5166,; David S Goldstein M.D., (301) 496-2103,

investigators: David S Goldstein, M.D.

locations: United States