International Working Group on Neurocardiology

Neural Hierarchy and Cardiac Control

My research program is also addressing how detrimental consequences of heart disease can be reduced or eliminated. To address these clinical problems, I have organized an International Working Group on Neurocardiology composed of clinical and basic scientists from Sweden, The Netherlands, Germany and the United States. This group is working together to provide new insights about normal processing of cardiovascular sensory information that are important to the coordinated performance in each region of the heart.

In addition, these studies will yield new information to understand the complex mechanisms underlying such devastating conditions as refractory angina pectoris, cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular ischemia and heart failure. The major focus of our research is based on evidence that spinal cord stimulation of the upper thoracic dorsal column protects the heart from rhythm disturbances.

We propose that neurohumoral induction of chemicals delivered to the heart, possibly by the intrathoracic and intrinsic cardiac neurons protect it from the insults of poor blood flow and lack of delivery of nutrients to the muscle. This may open up new vistas of treatment with spinal cord stimulation. These studies are supported by industrial contracts.