Neurophysiological mechanisms of neurological disorders in people irradiated in the Chernobyl' catastrophe

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We analyzed shifts in the functional parameters of the autonomic and segmental somatic reflex mechanisms in various categories of people subjected to irradiation because of the catastrophe at the Chernobyl' NPS. It is demonstrated that long-lasting irradiation even with mild intensity evokes serious damage to the central structures controlling autonomic functions (first of all, the hypothalamus). This results in the development of autonomic dysfunction with domination of disorders of the sympathetic system manifested in a dramatic drop in the amplitude, an increase in the duration, and modification of the phase structure of evoked autonomic skin responses in all examined groups of persons. Cardiovascular and neurotrophic disorders are crucial factors, which determine pathological modifications in the somatic reflex sphere (a drop in the amplitude of sensory evoked potentials and a decrease of the conduction velocity in the peripheral nerves, a drop in the amplitude of M responses in the limb muscles, but with relatively small shifts in the synaptic relays of segmental reflex arcs).

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