Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol 2021 Jul 14. Epub 2021 Jul 14.
University Health Network and Sinai Health Division of Cardiology, Toronto General Hospital Research Institute and Department of Medicine, grid.17063.33University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Defined as a structural or functional cardiac abnormality accompanied by symptoms, signs or biomarkers of altered ventricular pressures or volumes, heart failure also is a state of autonomic disequilibrium. A large body of evidence affirms that autonomic disturbances are intrinsic to heart failure; that basal or stimulated sympathetic nerve firing or neural norepinephrine (NE) release more often than not exceed homeostatic need, such that an initially adaptive adrenergic or vagal reflex response, becomes maladaptive; and, that the magnitude of such maladaptation predicts prognosis. This Ludwig lecture develops two theses: that the elucidation and judiciously targeted amelioration of maladaptive autonomic disturbances offers opportunities to complement contemporary guideline-based heart failure therapy; and, that serendipitous single-participant insights, acquired in the course of experimental protocols with entirely different intent, can generate novel insight, inform mechanisms, and launch entirely new research directions. Read More