The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is a major controller of the cardiovascular system and a key player in the pathogenesis of heart disease. ANS dysfunction can lead to pathologically increased heart rate through increased sympathetic and reduced parasympathetic tone, contributing to arrhythmias and sudden cardiac death (SCD), which claims up to 12 million lives/year globally.
An international team of researchers headed up by Oxford University’s Professor David Paterson and UCLA’s Professor Kalyanam Shivkumar have put forward a landmark proposal to diagnose and treat heart disease with cutting-edge neuromodulation technologies that directly tackle ANS alterations. They propose that directly altering adverse ANS activity will effectively treat arrhythmias and prevent the progression of heart failure.
The core UCLA-Oxford hub will work in partnership with John Hopkins University, Northwestern University, and the University of Bordeaux as a part of this network.