Sex Differences in Cerebrovascular Regulation during Autonomic Stimulation




Mojgani, Tara

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Cerebral blood flow is vital for optimal brain function, and requires redundant synergistic regulation to ensure essential oxygen and nutrient delivery. The Cold Pressor Test (CPT) activates the autonomic nervous system, revealing sex-specific relationship between blood pressure and extracranial CBF and regulation in order to preserve functional and structural integrity. The question arises: do these sex-specific regulations extend to deeper intracranial arteries? The hypothesis posits that despite potential blood pressure differences, males and females will exhibit distinct regulatory patterns in intracranial arteries during a CPT. Participants visited the CHEERS lab, refraining from exercise, food, caffeine, or alcohol. The CPT involved baseline establishment, recording vital metrics at rest, continuous monitoring during the three-minute experiment, and a subsequent recovery period. Contrary to our hypothesis, both genders exhibited reduced blood flow, more pronounced in males due to greater vessel diameter reduction. Females displayed smaller blood pressure increases but a more significant vessel diameter reduction, suggesting heightened cerebral blood flow regulation during the CPT. In summary, males and females may have varying sensitivities to blood pressure fluctuations in intracranial vessels. Further investigation with an expanded dataset in 2024 promises a more comprehensive understanding.



Cerebrovascular, vascular stiffness, cold pressor test, autonomic function, sex differences