What is Autoimmune Dysautonomia or AAG?

What is Autoimmune Dysautonomia?

What is Dysautonomia?

Dysautonomia is most often a type of neuropathy, damage to nerves, affecting those that carry information from the brain and spinal cord to the heart, bladder, intestines, sweat glands, pupils and blood vessels.

This video makes this disorder much easier to understand. Please take a few minutes to watch it.

Examples of Dysautonomia

  • Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS)
  • Reflext Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD)
  • Guillain-Barre Syndrome
  • Neurocardiogenic Sycope (NCS)
  • Orthostatic Intolerance (OI_
  • Autoimmune Ganglionopathy (AAG)
  • and others

Symptoms Include

  • Abnormally low heart rate
  • Balance disturbance
  • Abnormally high heart rate
  • Frequent dehydration
  • Low blood pressure
  • Chronic Fatigue
  • Chest pain
  • Vertigo
  • Shortness of breath
  • Heart palpitations
  • Frequent nausea and GI dysmotility
  • Migraines or frequent headaches
  • Losing consciousness

What is Autoimmune Dysautonomia?

Autoimmune Autonomic Ganglionopathy (AAG) is a very rare form of dysautonomia in which the bodies own immune system damages a receptor in the autonomic ganglia An autonomic ganglion is a cluster of nerve cell bodies (a ganglion) in the autonomic nervous system. The two types are sympathetic ganglion and parasympathetic ganglion.

This video makes understanding the autonomic ganglion much easier.


  • AAG can impact people of all ages and both sexes.
  • Approximately 100 Americans are diagnosed with AAG per year.

What is Autoimmune Dysautonomia #autoimmunedisorders #brendamueller.com

Click here to read Erica’s Story.

Prior names for AAG include:

  • acute pandysautonomia
    • acute pandysautonomia is a rare variant of Guillain-Barré syndrome characterized by acute post-ganglionic sympathetic and parasympathetic failure presenting several weeks after acute infection with:
      • gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, vomiting, constipation, diarrhea, gastroparesis, ileus),
      • orthostatic hypotension
      • erectile dysfunction
      • urinary frequency
      • urgency or retention
      • vasomotor instability with acrocyanosis and reduced salivation
      • the flow of tears
      • and sweating.
  • autoimmune autonomic neuropathy
  • idiopathic subacute autonomic neuropathy


If your doctor suspects you may have AAG, he or she can order the g-AChR antibody test from Mayo Clinic Labs.

Traditional Autonomic Testing

Your blood pressure and heart rate will be tested by:

  • Tilt table test: You will lie on a table that will be raised slowly until you’re in an almost fully upright position.
  • Deep breathing test: You’ll be asked to take several deep breaths over the course of a minute.
  • Valsalva maneuver: You’ll breathe into a tube to increase pressure in your chest.

QSART: Skin temperature and sweating will be tested by the Quantitative Sudomotor Axon Reflex Test.

Treatment for AAG

Since autoimmune autonomic ganglionopathy is so rare, no standard treatments have been established. Experts familiar with this condition often use to treat the symptoms of the disease:

  • plasma exchange or total plasmapheresis
  • intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG)
  • IV corticosteroids
  • immunosuppressive drugs, such as Rituxan


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