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WM Keck Science

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Dynamical diseases are characterized by sudden changes in the qualitative dynamics of physiological processes, leading to abnormal dynamics and disease. Thus, there is a natural matching between the mathematical field of nonlinear dynamics and medicine. This paper summarizes advances in the study of dynamical disease with emphasis on a NATO Advanced Research Workshop held in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada in February 1994. We describe the international effort currently underway to identify dynamical diseases and to study these diseases from a perspective of nonlinear dynamics. Linear and nonlinear time series analysis combined with analysis of bifurcations in dynamics are being used to help understand mechanisms of pathological rhythms and offer the promise for better diagnostic and therapeutic techniques.


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