Blood pressure corresponds to the force with which our blood pumps and reaches all body areas, carrying oxygen to the blood vessels in all regions of the body. Let’s consider that our heartbeats between 60 and 80 times per minute, every hour, during each day of our life. We understand the importance of cardiovascular health and keeping blood pressure within the recommended limits.
But how does the body regulate this pressure? What mechanisms does it have to adapt to changes in the body? In the following FastlyHealarticle, we explain the Definition of a vasomotor center, and we will give you the keys to understanding how your body regulates blood pressure.
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What is the vasomotor center?
The vasomotor center is the neural network responsible for regulating blood pressure and other blood-related processes, along with the respiratory center and the heart center. It is an area of the medulla oblongata located in the brainstem.
It exerts its functions through the autonomic nervous system, separated into two different areas, the vasopressor and the vasodepressor. It should be said that not only the vasomotor center influences the regulation of blood pressure, but there are also other mechanisms beyond the vasomotor center that act locally in the blood vessels. Unlike the short-term action of this system, some agents cause long-term effects; an example of this is the hormonal system.
How it regulates blood pressure
In the arteries, we have sensory receptors that respond to blood pressure and later send that information to the vasomotor center. These receptors have baroreceptors, essential for our body to control blood pressure optimally.
Information is sent from the brain to the vasomotor center, and this, taking into account the information received, decides to regulate systemic arterial pressure. To control it, the response of the autonomic nervous system varies, coordinating its response through the sympathetic and parasympathetic systems. In a short space of time, between seconds and minutes, blood pressure already reaches new levels.
Baroreceptors are pressure receptors; they are nerve endings located on the walls of the carotid and aorta arteries, which detect changes in blood pressure and send that information to the vasomotor center.
The baroreceptors act in the following way; When the blood pressure is too high, there is an enlargement in the walls of the carotid and aorta; with this enlargement, the baroreceptors wake up and send signals to the vasomotor center, which corrects the arterial pressure by changing the cardiac output and the resistance to the passage of the blood.
Alterations of the vasomotor center
If the body detects that you have external blood pressure, it activates the sympathetic nervous system causing an increase in heart rate and arterial vasoconstriction that cause an increase in pressure. On the contrary, if high pressure is detected, the vasomotor center inhibits the sympathetic nervous system’s action while increasing the parasympathetic activity, producing vasodilation, and lowering the heart rate.
If there is an alteration in the vasomotor center, this can cause an episode of hypotension. Hypotension is when systolic blood pressure is situated below 90 mmHg; at these levels, it causes nausea, fatigue, and dizziness. If treatment is not followed or remedied and blood pressure continues to drop, reaching deficient levels continuously, blood circulation becomes inefficient, causing the vasomotor tone to be lost and the autonomic nervous system to become unbalanced.
Some of the diseases that can cause it are diabetes and epilepsy. In contrast, other pathologies and conditions such as Parkinson’s, postural tachycardia syndrome, or material prolapse can also cause alterations in the autonomic nervous system.
This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.