What Is Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH)?

Associated with the nervous system
Relating to standing up
Abnormally low blood pressure
(nOH) is a condition that causes abnormally low blood pressureBlood pressure
The force the blood has on the arteries. It has two numbers: top/bottom (systolic/diastolic)
after standing in people with nervous system disorders. If you have nOH, it means the type of orthostatic hypotension (OH) you have is caused by an underlying nervous system disorder, like Parkinson’s diseaseParkinson’s disease
A nervous system disorder associated with damage to nerve cells in the brain and nerves that control movement and cause malfunction of involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)
, multiple system atrophyMultiple system atrophy
A rare, Parkinson’s-like neurologic disorder that causes problems with movement, loss of coordination, and malfunction of involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)
(MSA), pure autonomic failurePure autonomic failure
A very rare, neurologic disorder characterized by damage to regions of the nervous system that control involuntary bodily functions (such as blood pressure control)
(PAF), or another autonomic disorder. 

Because these conditions cause damage to the nervous system, the body may not release enough of a chemical called norepinephrineNorepinephrine
A chemical in the body that, among other functions, signals the blood vessels to tighten and increase blood pressure
, which helps to keep blood pressure from dropping too low. Without enough norepinephrine, blood pressure remains low after standing, which may result in symptoms like dizziness, lightheadedness, blurry vision, or fatigue. Watch this video to learn more.

Causes of Orthostatic Hypotension

nOH is a specific type of OH, also known as postural hypotension. OH is a sustained drop in systolic (the top number) blood pressure of at least 20 mm Hg or diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure of at least 10 mm Hg that happens within 3 minutes of standing. OH tends to happen more often as people get older. Additionally, any of these factors can cause OH:

Heart related

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Heart failure, problems with blood flow, and a decreased volume of blood in your body are some of the potential causes of OH.

Nervous system related

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Parkinson’s disease, MSA, PAF, or other autonomic disorders can cause OH.

Medication related

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Certain medications, such as ones prescribed for high blood pressure, depression, or to treat conditions like Parkinson’s disease, have been found to cause OH.

Go Behind the Mystery of nOH

Just like you, Keith and his wife once had questions about Keith’s symptoms in connection to Parkinson’s disease. Watch this episode of Behind the Mystery, a program from the Lifetime network, to see how Keith came to discover he also suffered from nOH.