Assessment of the autonomic nervous system involves checking for the following:
Heart rate changes in response to the Valsalva maneuver
Evidence of Horner syndrome Horner Syndrome Horner syndrome is ptosis, miosis, and anhidrosis due to dysfunction of cervical sympathetic output. (See also Overview of the Autonomic Nervous System.) Horner syndrome results when the cervical... read more (unilateral ptosis, pupillary constriction, facial anhidrosis)
Disturbances of bowel, bladder, sexual, and hypothalamic function should be noted.
(See also Introduction to the Neurologic Examination Introduction to the Neurologic Examination The neurologic examination begins with careful observation of the patient entering the examination area and continues during history taking. The patient should be assisted as little as possible... read more and Overview of the Autonomic Nervous System Overview of the Autonomic Nervous System The autonomic nervous system regulates physiologic processes. Regulation occurs without conscious control, ie, autonomously. The 2 major divisions are the Sympathetic system Parasympathetic... read more .)