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Effects of a facial nerve lesion on responses in forehead microvessels to conjunctival irritation and paced breathing

      Abstract

      To investigate parasympathetic influences on the forehead microvasculature, blood flow was monitored bilaterally in seven participants with a unilateral facial nerve lesion during conjunctival irritation with Schirmer's strips and while breathing at 0.15 Hz. Blood flow and slow-wave frequency increased on the intact side of the forehead during Schirmer's test but did not change on the denervated side. However, a 0.15 Hz vascular wave strengthened during paced breathing, particularly on the denervated side. These findings indicate that parasympathetic activity in the facial nerve increases forehead blood flow during minor conjunctival irritation, but may interfere with the 0.15 Hz vascular wave.

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