Decreased heart rate variability in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis

F. Pisano, G. Miscio, G. Mazzuero, P. Lanfranchi, R. Colombo, P. Pinelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoregressive spectral analysis of heart rate variability (HRV) was performed in 29 patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and 33 age- matched healthy subjects to evaluate the involvement of the autonomic nervous system. HRV analysis provides a means to recognize low (LF) and high (HF) frequency components, respectively mediated by sympathetic and parasympathetic heart control. An increase in the mean heart rate at rest (P <0.001), a decrease in standard deviation of R-R interval as well as in PNN50 (P <0.001), and an increase in the LF/HF component ratio (P <0.01) were found in the ALS patients, indicating a vigil-sympathetic imbalance. These alterations were not related to the clinical features and to the duration of the disease. Our results suggest a subclinical involvement of the autonomic nervous system in ALS, particularly affecting parasympathetic cardiovascular control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1225-1231
Number of pages7
JournalMuscle and Nerve
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • autonomic nervous system
  • dysautonomia
  • heart rate variability
  • spectral analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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