Dysautonomia is dysfunction of the ANS (autonomic nervous system), which is the system that operates mostly below conscious awareness and regulates the functioning of the body’s internal organs. For instance, the ANS affects heart rate, digestion, respiratory rate, salivation, perspiration, pupillary dilation, micturition (urination), and sexual arousal. There is no scientifically proven treatment for dysautonomia.
TVAM (Transvascular Autonomic Modulation) is a promising new treatment for patients with autonomic dysfunction, or dysautonomia. The procedure involves modulation of the nerve fibers surrounding the jugular vein. These nerves are the conduit for communication between the body and the ANS, and by stimulating them we are able to improve autonomic function in many patients. An ongoing scientific study conducted at Synergy Health with a growing pool of patients with autonomic dysfunction (over 600), has shown definitive results in favor of TVAM.
Treating “Pure” Dysautonomia
Patients with “pure” dysautonomia, in which there is no underlying neurological condition, typically present with symptoms that are cardiovascular rather than neurological in origin. While such patients may also experience symptoms including fatigue, sleep disturbances, altered cognitive function (brain fog), cold or heat intolerance, headaches, and bladder or bowel dysfunction, it is frequently the cardiovascular effects that first motivate dysautonomia patients to seek medical care.
Cardiac conditions common to dysautonomia include syncope (tendency to pass out a lot) and POTS (fluctuations in heart rate based on body position). In most cases, patients end up seeing several doctors before being diagnosed with autonomic dysfunction, often by a cardiologist.
Where Traditional Treatments Fall Short
Traditionally, most physicians have focused solely on treating the cardiaovascular symptoms of dysautonomia. Cardiac medications such as vasoconstrictors can be effective at regulating blood pressure and heart rate. But while they help address specific cardiac symptoms, they do not treat the underlying condition of dysautonomia.
As a result, cardiac medications do not help alleviate the many other symptoms of dysautonomia including fatigue, poor sleep, and thermal intolerance. In fact, side effects from cardiac medications can sometimes make these symptoms worse.
Dysautonomia patients who undergo TVAM should expect to see improvements in energy levels, quality of sleep, and cognitive function along with increased tolerance to fluctuations in temperature.
Heart rate response, the main factor that drives the predominant symptoms of “pure” dysautonomia, responds especially well to the procedure, contributing to overall improvements in visceral function.
Autonomic dysfunction appears progressive. When the ANS can no longer keep the body regulated and in optimal condition, over time damage to various organ systems is inevitable. For this reason, we believe that early intervention is advantageous.
Our Experience to Date
Over the past several years we’ve treated many patients with venous abnormalities who suffer from CCSVI, MS, Lyme, Parkinson’s, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, ALS, as well as Dysautonomia. Using venous angioplasty to correct the abnormalities, we began to notice clear and consistent improvements in autonomic function in our patients during and directly after the procedure, lasting up to several years and beyond.
Over time, we began focusing our patient evaluations more on the symptoms of autonomic dysfunction and less on the presence of venous abnormalities. With a patient response rate to the original (CCSVI) procedure in excess of 90%, we began treating Dysautonomia patients with no venous abnormalities, and we continued to achieve a high success rate.
The Theory Behind TVAM
Our understanding of why the procedure works is continuing to evolve, but a similar and much more established procedure called renal denervation might hold a clue as to why TVAM is so effective.
Renal denervation is an intravascular treatment for high blood pressure that directly affects the autonomic nervous system. A small catheter is placed in the renal artery, and a microwave energy source targets the nerve outside the vessel. This treatment is highly effective at treating high blood pressure, but what makes the treatment unique is that the effect is an autonomic one.
The theory behind TVAM is much the same, only instead of using microwave energy, physical energy is used to stimulate the autonomic nerve fibers that run alongside the jugular vein.
During the procedure, a catheter is inserted via a very small incision in the groin and threaded up into the jugular vein. A small balloon is then inflated while at the same time Dr. Arata applies external pressure directly on the balloon. This combined internal/external manipulation applies intense physical energy to the autonomic fibers running alongside the jugular vein. The result is improved autonomic function in our patients.
If you are a patient or know someone with dysautonomia or autonomic dysfunction and are interested in more information on TVAM, please contact us toll free at (877) 792-2784 or (949) 221-0129.