CODESNA technology

After years of research, CODESNA owns the most advanced technology in mathematical analysis of heart rate variability. This allows us to deliver relevant and accurate results on the balance of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), in particular on the chronic effects of “negative” emotions on the body.

Working closely with French top scientists in the field, the CODESNA products deliver new physiological markers, producing an evaluation of the ANS that is fast, robust and reliable.

The autonomic nervous system

The autonomic nervous system (ANS) is the neurophysiologic body «engine”, allowing any human or mammal to adapt to its environment. The ANS is composed of two antagonistic branches: the sympathetic branch and the parasympathetic branch. When a danger is perceived, the sympathetic part of the ANS is activated automatically: “fight or flight”. Similarly, during rest and recovery, the Parasympathetic branch of ANS takes over to rebuild the body’s energy reserves (sleep, digestion …).

Système nerveux autonome

Analyse du système nerveux autonome

The stress impact on the autonomic nervous system

The anxiety, the discomfort or prolonged and repetitive negative stress are associated in the brain with a potential danger and activate the sympathetic part of ANS in a mindless way. If this settles in duration, the stress can become chronic and can lead to many diseases as the “burn-out”, the depression, musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs), etc. Similarly, excess of parasympathetic activity is not desirable neither, the ideal being to stay in an equilibrium zone.

The “negative” emotions who settle in duration have a measurable physiological effect, as the ANS acts on the body inherently, from the brain’s perception. For example, fear or anxiety accelerate the heart even in the absence of physical effort. This occurs because the heart is the center of the autonomic nervous system, it accelerates when the sympathetic part is activated and it slows during phases of recovery and rest. This is visible on the signal measured from an electrocardiogram (ECG) through the intervals between two heart beats, called Heart Rate Variability (HRV) or R-R interval, as shown below:

Heart Rate Variability HRV

The heart is the center of the autonomic self-regulation, the HRV has been known for several years as a relevant signal for assessing the ANS. Nevertheless, existing mathematical methods to analyze this signal remains confined to the field of research because the robustness and reproducibility of results obtained remain insufficient for deployment outside research laboratories. Using a new generation of mathematical algorithms with known physiological basis, CODESNA brings a methodology and an unprecedented mathematical strength in the analysis and in the markers issued from the HRV analysis.

CODESNA Measurement protocol

Respiration being a key component of self-regulation, CODESNA evaluation method is based on the evaluation of the ANS, stimulating the breath in a controlled manner, through a visual stimulus generated by the application. In homeostasis condition, the HRV modulation is mainly due to the respiration, generating a known Respiratory Sinus Arrhythmia (RSA). This allows to obtain results that are stable, accurate and with a high reproducibility.

During an inspiration, the sympathetic part of the ANS is stimulated by the release of the vagal brake (vagus nerve looseness). In contrast, during exhalation, the vagal brake is activated and the ANS’s Parasympathetic branch is activated.

Using a breathing protocol of only 2 minutes, and a non-invasive HRV measure, the autonomic nervous system’s equilibrium level is measured through several physiological markers, allowing to prevent the risk of depression, “burn-out” or exhaustion.

After the 2 minutes test, using the real-time HRV recording and the respiratory stimulation signal, the CODESNA algorithms deliver several physiological markers to evaluate precisely the imbalances of the Autonomic Nervous System. Moreover, the measurement protocol that uses controlled breathing, already represents a benefit in itself for the autonomic balance, provided it is regularly practiced.

A HRV recording example in test condition is provided below:

The ANS imbalance can be emotional, yet other life factors constantly influence the autonomic regulation:

  • food
  • medications (i.e. beta blockers stimulate the Parasympathetic activity)
  • addictions (drugs, alcohol, tobacco)
  • physical effort (regular or intensive)
  • periods of life with significant hormonal activity or certain diseases

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