Johns Hopkins Diabetes GuideComplications and ComorbiditiesNeurology Psychiatry

Autonomic Neuropathy

Michael Polydefkis, M.D., M.H.S., Kathy Burks, C.R.N.P.
Autonomic Neuropathy is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins Diabetes Guide.

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DEFINITION

  • Diabetic autonomic neuropathy (DAN) is a common, under appreciated complication of diabetes with significant negative impact on survival and quality of life.
  • Involvement of autonomic nerves in diabetes follows a length-dependent pattern. The longest autonomic nerve - the vegus nerve is the first affected, and provides 75% of parasympathetic tone, with a broad range of effects.
  • Later, loss of sympathetic nerve function can also occur.

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Last updated: May 16, 2013