Impairment of thermoregulatory control of skin sympathetic nerve traffic in the elderly

Guido Grassi, Gino Seravalle, Carlo Turri, Giovanni Bertinieri, Raffaella Dell'Oro, Giuseppe Mancia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background - Human aging is characterized by a marked increase in muscle sympathetic nerve traffic (MSNA). No information exists, however, on the effects of aging on skin sympathetic nerve traffic (SSNA) and on its reflex modulation by thermoregulatory mechanisms. Methods and Results - In 13 young, 11 middle-aged, and 12 elderly healthy subjects, we measured arterial blood pressure (Finapres), skin temperature (thermocouples), and resting MSNA and SSNA (microneurography). Measurements also included the SSNA responses to (1) an acute increase and reduction (±8°C) in room temperature, each lasting 45 minutes and (2) an acoustic stimulus capable to trigger an emotional arousal. Although resting MSNA was progressively and significantly (P

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)729-735
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Aug 12 2003


  • Aging
  • Nervous system
  • Nervous system, sympathetic
  • Reflex

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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