Autonomic Physiology / Neurophysiology Facility
Autonomic dysfunction is a major health issue. Dysfunction including orthostatic hypotension is common in conditions like aging, diabetes and Parkinson's disease — and there is accumulating evidence that it may even be associated with worse prognosis in such conditions.
The Mayo Clinic CTSA is unique in that it houses state-of-the-science facilities to evaluate autonomic deficits and symptoms. It has a number of well-validated quantitative tools to measure symptoms and deficits. Such tools have been vital in a number of population-based studies, clinical trials and natural history studies.
The Mayo CTSA has a multitier structure to evaluate autonomic function. The Autonomic Physiology Facility, directed by Phillip Low, M.D., provides support to investigators by making available a number of well-validated instruments to quantitate autonomic dysfunction. It is closely integrated with the Autonomic Physiology and Microneurography Laboratory, an NIH-funded research program also directed by Dr. Low. The latter is more intensively investigative and is located in both the Saint Marys (inpatient) and Charlton (outpatient) CRUs. It includes such approaches as microneurography, exercise physiology, microdialysis, studies of chemoreflexes, and studies of cerebral autoregulation. These approaches and studies tend to utilize unique paradigms and sometimes involve more invasive methodologies.
Services and equipment
Accessing the facility
Investigators wishing to use the Autonomic Physiology Facility must obtain both Institutional Review Board (IRB) and CTSA approval (via the CRU section in IRBe).
Potential users are encouraged to closely interact with the facility at all stages of the research process. Contact the facility if you plan to include autonomic studies in a protocol, as facility personnel can advise on study design, feasibility, budgeting and implementation.
During the study, facility staff provide technical expertise and perform the desired measurements. After study completion, they can assist with data reduction — ensuring the autonomic data is in a usable format — and analysis.
Call 507-538-6400 with questions about fees.
Location and hours
The Autonomic Physiology Facility and the Autonomic and Microneurography Laboratory are located on Charlton 7 in the Charlton (outpatient) CRU. At the Saint Marys (inpatient) CRU on Domitilla 5, two rooms are equipped for human physiology measurements ranging from vascular responsiveness to muscle sympathetic nerve activity. Operating hours are Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.