The Vanderbilt Autonomic Dysfunction Center was established in 1978 as the first international center for patient care, research, and training with a focus on the autonomic nervous system. The staff of the Autonomic Dysfunction Center continue to research autonomic dysfunction and work to discover best ways to treat those symptoms.
Investigators at Vanderbilt have identified new disorders (Dopamine-Hydroxylase Deficiency and Norepinephrine Transporter Deficiency). In addition, investigators have introduced new treatments to manage orthostatic hypotension (a large drop in blood pressure when standing up), Postural Tachycardia Syndrome (a large increase in heart rate when standing up), and Baroreflex Failure.
Over the years, many people have contributed to this effort at Vanderbilt. Many of the young scientists and physicians who have trained here have gone out and established similar centers in other parts of the world. Others have taken positions at academic research centers and pharmaceutical firms where they are seeking to enhance drug therapy to treat these disorders.