“Dysautonomias 101: More Than Just POTS”

Sunday, March 17, 2024, 4 p.m. Eastern Time

Peter Cariani, Ph.D.
Hayla Sluss, Ph.D

“Dysautonomias” refers to the generic term encompassing all disorders of the autonomic nervous system. In this edition of Sunday Conversations, Peter Cariani, Ph.D., gave a brief overview of the autonomic nervous system and what can go wrong. He also described the role of dysautonomias in ME/CFS, FM, and other chronic conditions, what causes these conditions to be self-sustaining, what medical specialties treat dysautonomias, and added his own thoughts about diagnosis and treatment. Hayla Sluss, Ph.D., presented symptoms and accommodations.

Bios: Peter Cariani (B.S. MIT biology; M.S., Ph.D. SUNY-Binghamton, systems science) is a recently retired auditory and systems neuroscience researcher and teacher. His research has mainly involved understanding the neural codes that mediate perception of pitch, consonance, harmony, and rhythm. Over the last two decades he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses related to music perception and cognition, auditory neuroscience, and the neurobiology of consciousness at various Boston-area institutions (Tufts, Harvard, MIT, Boston Conservatory/Berklee, Boston University). He is currently co-authoring two books: a clinician’s guide to music therapy and an outline of a new theory of brain function based on temporal codes. Personal website: www.petercariani.com

Peter has two adult children who have been diagnosed with ME/CFS, and consequently has been studying the ME/CFS literature to help them find appropriate medical care and to try to understand the disease from a systems perspective. He is currently serving as a parent/caregiver person-with-lived-experience on the current NIH task force to formulate a roadmap for future ME/CFS research.

Hayla Sluss (Ph.D. molecular medicine) is a researcher and Assistant Professor at UMass Chan Medical School, and a Board member of MassME.


Materials from the presentation:

Exerpted resources from the slides: