It is well known that traumatic brain injuries (TBI), which includes concussions, can have long-lasting negative effects on the brain. But researchers are learning that TBI can also negatively affect the heart.
Local10.com reports that researchers have learned that when a concussion affects the autonomic nervous system, this can cause a down-stream effect that results in damage to heart function. The autonomic nervous system resides in the brain and controls the heart, among other systems and organs. Hence, when a concussion affects the brain one of the potential side effects is impaired heart function.
The report indicates that concussion can affect not only the variability of the heart but also its ability to regulate blood pressure. In fact, researchers are monitoring heart rate variability as a way to determine how well TBI patients are recovering from concussions.
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