Should You Be Screened for Neurogenic Orthostatic Hypotension (nOH)?

nOH is orthostatic hypotension (OH), or low blood pressure after standing, caused by an underlying nervous system disorder. People with the following conditions should be screened for nOH:

  • 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 atrophy (MSA)Multiple 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)
  • Pure autonomic failure (PAF)Pure 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)
  • Another autonomic disorder

“Every patient with Parkinson’s disease or multiple system atrophy should really be screened for nOH.”

—Dr. Fahd Amjad, movement disorder specialist

“Because of the nature of our practice, every person who comes to see us has their blood pressure taken in multiple positions to screen for nOH.”

—Dr. Ramon Gil, movement disorder specialist

If you suspect you may have nOH, talk to your doctor right away. Share symptoms you experience when standing or changing positions, and ask him or her to take your blood pressure and measure your heart rate while you are lying down, sitting, and standing. This may help your doctor assess whether you are suffering from this condition.

People living with Parkinson’s disease, MSA, PAF, and other types of autonomic disorders have said that getting a diagnosis of nOH went a long way in giving them answers and hope for relief.