The hereditary dysautonomias (H-Dys) are a large group of disorders that affect the autonomic nervous system. Research in the field of H-Dys is very challenging, because the disorders involve interdisciplinary, integrative, and "mind-body" connections. Recently, medical scientists, NIH/ NINDS representatives, and several patient support groups gathered for the first time in order to discuss recent findings and future directions in the H-Dys field. The H-Dys workshop was instrumental in promoting interactions between basic science and clinical investigators. It also allowed attendees to have an opportunity to meet each other, understand the similarities between the various forms of dysautonomia, and experience the unique perspective offered by patients and their families. Future advances in H-Dys research will depend on a novel multi-system approach by investigators from different medical disciplines, and it is hoped that towards a common goal, novel "bench-to-bedside" therapeutics will be developed to improve the lives of, or even cure, patients suffering from dysautonomic syndromes.
- Autonomic nervous system