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Neural Correlates of Cognitive Dysfunction in Postural Tachycardia Syndrome

Postural tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a chronic syndrome in which the heart beats too quickly when standing. POTS primarily affects young women. People with POTS also experience symptoms such as feeling faint, fatigue, nausea, and mental clouding or "brain fog." “Brain fog” is one of the most bothersome symptoms of POTS and it is unknown why people with POTS experience this symptom. Some studies have shown that POTS patients have problems with attention, memory and executive function (ability to plan, organize information, and adapt to changes) while seated and when upright. In this study, we will evaluate how brain function during mental tasks is affected in people with POTS compared to healthy volunteers. All volunteers will complete mental tasks while lying down and standing. If eligible, we will measure brain activity using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).The findings from this study will increase our understanding of the mental complaints in people with POTS, to hopefully help with development of new treatments.
Aimee Cauffman at or 717-531-1617
18 year(s) or older
This study is also accepting healthy volunteers
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Inclusion Criteria:
Men and women of all races
18- 60 years old
Previously Diagnosed with POTS or healthy people without chronic illness
Capable of giving informed consent
Exclusion Criteria:
Age <18 years or >60 years
Pregnant or breastfeeding women
Other potential causes for tachycardia (e.g. prolonged bed rest, dehydration)
Taking stimulant medications within the past 3 months as these may alter cognition
Unable to tolerate an MRI scanner (e.g. claustrophobia, implanted metal)
Heart & Vascular, Neurology
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Hershey, PA