Trinity College Dublin researchers report controlled breathing, a key element of meditation, directly affects noradrenaline levels in the brain. The study suggests controlled breathing can enhance attention and improve overall brain health.
Researchers have discovered how the brain controls our breathing in response to changing oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the blood.
Core neurons in the lateral parabrachial nucleus project to the amygdala, an area of the brain associated with fear and emotional processing of pain. Neurons in the shell project to the pre-Bötzinger complex, a region that generates breathing rhythm. Both core and shell neurons influence each other according to inputs from each area, increasing breathing rate when we are in pain or anxious.
An opinion article reports on a potential common cause for both SIDS and SUDEP. The reason sudden death may occur is due to a person's inability to wake when CO2 levels in the blood rise, as a result of dysfunctional serotonin neurons in the midbrain.
Researchers say serotonin, a chemical commonly associated with mood regulation, may play in breathing problems associated with epileptic seizures. Those who had higher levels of serotonin following a seizure than before the event were less likely to experience interrupted breathing.
A new study reports acute loss of normal activity in serotonin producing neurons blunts the body's ability to recover from interrupted breathing. Researchers say this could provide an explanation to why some infants die from SIDs, and could someday help with the development of therapies to prevent sudden infant death.