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Autonomic Testing

Dr. Lenny Cohen -  - Neurology

Chicago Neurological Services

Dr. Lenny Cohen

Neurology located in Roscoe Village, Chicago, IL & Oak Park, Oak Park, IL

Your autonomic nervous system (ANS) operates without conscious effort and controls bodily functions such as breathing, blood pressure, and sweating. At Chicago Neurological Services in Chicago and Oak Park, Illinois, neurologist Lenny Cohen offers autonomic testing to see if there are any nerve or brain issues that might be causing problems with your ANS. To learn more or to schedule a consultation, call Chicago Neurological Services or use the online booking feature.

Autonomic Testing Q& A

What is autonomic testing?

Autonomic testing, also known as autonomic response testing or reflex screening, is a non-invasive test that measures how well your autonomic nervous system works to control your bodily functions.

Your doctor may recommend autonomic testing if you have symptoms such as:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Abnormal sweating
  • Fatigue Lightheadedness or dizziness
  • Fainting
  • Burning or numbness in your hands or feet
  • Shortness of breath
  • Digestive issues
  • Impaired ability to urinate Impaired sexual function

You might also need an autonomic test for orthostatic hypotension, which is low blood pressure that occurs when standing after sitting or lying down.

What are the types of autonomic testing?

Chicago neurologist Dr. Cohen may recommend autonomic testing based on the symptoms you report and your health concerns. The goal of testing is to see how well your autonomic nervous system reacts to stimulation.

The tests are relatively simple and don’t require any invasive procedures, but you may have to plan ahead of time. Some tests require you to be in the office for a few hours and you might be hooked up to different monitors.

Two types of autonomic tests include:

Tilt table test

The tilt table test has you lie on a table that tilts while monitoring blood pressure, oxygen levels, and electrical impulses in your heart to determine the cause of fainting spells.


Dr. Cohen may test your skin temperature and sweating with a quantitative sudomotor axon reflex test, also known as QSART.

He places small plastic cups on your arms, legs, and feet which will help measure the amount of sweat produced. Then, he delivers mild electrical stimulation to your skin to induce sweating. You may feel slight warmth during the process while a computer analyzes how your sweat glands are functioning.

If you need these or other tests, Chicago Neurological Services can help determine the best type of autonomic testing for your condition. All tests are painless and don’t require any special preparation. However, Dr. Cohen may ask you to stop taking certain medications before your test.

What conditions can autonomic testing evaluate?

Autonomic testing at Chicago Neurological Services may help evaluate the following medical conditions: Neuropathy Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) Ehlers-Danlos syndrome Complex regional pain syndrome (CPRS) Parkinson’s disease Multiple system atrophy (MSA)

If your doctor recommends autonomic testing, schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen by calling Chicago Neurological Services or using the online booking feature.