Publication Details

Wilsmore, B., Cotter, J., MacDonald, A., Zeyl, A., Bashford, G. M. and Taylor, N. Thermal sweating following spinal cord injury. In: Lau, T., Cotter, J. and Forbes-Ewan, C. editors. Proceedings of the International Conference on Physiological and Cognitive Performance in Extreme Environments; Aust Institute of Sport, Canberra, ACT: Defence Science and Technology Org. - Dept of Defence, Aust; 2000. 39-41.


A complete spinal cord injury prevents neural connections between distal sites and higher neural structures. While it has previously been demonstrated that an isolated spinal cord can elicit non-thermal sweating independently of the hypothalamus [1-3], the ability of the spinal cord to control sweating in response to thermal stimuli, without hypothalamic influence, is less clear. The majority of early literature indicates that thermal sweating is absent below a complete spinal cord injury (SCI) [4-7], yet several studies suggest otherwise [8-11]. However, invasive measures have failed to observe altered sympathetic activity when thermally stimulating insensate regions [12], which is inconsistent with the observations of sweating below a SCI.