For more information please see: Pathophysiology of Autonomic Dysreflexia
Figure 4. Diagram illustrating how AD occurs in a person with spinal cord injury. The afferent stimulus, in this case a distended bladder, triggers a peripheral sympathetic response, which results in vasoconstriction and hypertension. Descending inhibitory signals, which would normally counteract the rise in blood pressure, are blocked at the level of the spinal cord injury. Blackmer, J. (2003). Rehabilitation medicine: 1. Autonomic dysreflexia. CMAJ • OCT. 28, 2003; 169 (9). Retrieved from http://www.cmaj.ca/content/169/9/931.figures-only.