What is the Heart-Brain Axis? Why do we need to know more? How do we close the current knowledge gaps and embark on a discovery plan?
The autonomic nervous system (ANS) regulates all the critical physiological functions of the heart (chronotropy, dromotropy, inotropy, and lusitropy). This system is composed of central components, intrathoracic components, and intracardiac components. While the central and intrathoracic ANS has been well defined the “heart’s little brain” remains a subject of intense investigation.
The aim of the field of neurocardiology is to develop tools to characterize the structure and function of the human neuro-cardiac nervous system (NCNS) in health and disease. This would enable us to identify new therapuetic targets to address therapeutic gaps in the treatment of the most common cardiac and vascular diseases.