UCLA and Stanford researchers pinpoint origin of sighing reflex in the brain

  “You must remember this: a kiss is just a kiss, a sigh is just a sigh.” Contrary to the words immortalized by the piano singer in “Casablanca,” a sigh is far more than a sigh. Heaving an unconscious sigh is a life-sustaining reflex that helps preserve lung function. Now a new study by researchers at UCLA and Stanford has pinpointed two tiny clusters of neurons in the brain stem that are responsible for transforming normal breaths into sighs. Published in the Feb. 8 advance online edition of Nature, the discovery may one day allow physicians to treat patients who cannot breathe deeply on their own — or who suffer from disorders in which frequent sighing becomes debilitating. “Sighing appears to be regulated by the fewest number of neurons we have seen linked to a fundamental human behavior,” explained Jack Feldman, a professor of neurobiology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and a member of the UCLA Brain Research Institute. “One of the holy grails in neuroscience is figuring out how the brain controls behavior. Our finding gives us insights into mechanisms that may underlie much more complex behaviors.” According to Mark Krasnow, a professor of biochemistry and Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the new findings shed light on the network of cells in the brain stem that generates breathing rhythm. Krasnow lab/Stanford On each ...
Source: UCLA Newsroom: Health Sciences - Category: Universities & Medical Training Source Type: news

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Publication date: April 2018Source: The Egyptian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, Volume 6, Issue 1Author(s): Yasser Mohammed Hassanain ElsayedAbstractQuadrigeminy means a cardiac arrhythmia in which every fourth beat is a premature ventricular contraction (extrasystole) or three sinus beats between extrasystoles. Premature ventricular contractions is one of the manifestations of sympathetic over activity due to anxiety. However, anxiety might induce electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in normal person with normal heart, as in this documented case. Patient re-assurance is a therapeutic option, without need for any other p...
Source: The Egyptian Journal of Critical Care Medicine - Category: Intensive Care Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 23 September 2017Source: International Journal of PsychophysiologyAuthor(s): Christoph Benke, Elischa Krause, Alfons O. Hamm, Christiane A. Pané-FarréAbstractResistant avoidance behaviors play a crucial role in the maintenance of anxiety disorders and are therefore central targets of therapeutic interventions. In the present study, the development of avoidance behavior was investigated in 24 healthy participants who repeatedly prematurely terminated the exposure to increasing interoceptive threat, i.e., the feeling of dyspnea induced by increasing inspiratory resistive loads...
Source: International Journal of Psychophysiology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research
ConclusionsElectroclinical features of PI-myoclonia were more heterogeneous than traditionally described. Ictal pattern of SW was almost as frequent as classical PSW. Patients described the influence of learning new skills and anxiety on PI. Their subjective perception let us understand the impact of this reflex trait.
Source: Seizure - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 26 April 2018Source: Research in Developmental DisabilitiesAuthor(s): Lindsey C. Partington, Jessica L. Borelli, Patricia Smiley, Ella Jarvik, Hannah F. Rasmussen, Lauren C. Seaman, Erika L. NurmiAbstractParental overcontrol (OC), the excessive regulation of a child’s behavior, cognition, and emotion, is associated with the development of child anxiety. While studies have shown that genetic factors may increase sensitivity to stress, genetic vulnerability to parental OC has not been examined in anxiety etiology. A functional polymorphism in the mu opioid receptor OPRM1 (A118G, rs179...
Source: Research in Developmental Disabilities - Category: Disability Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 14 March 2018Source: Neuroscience ResearchAuthor(s): Mario Altamura, Salvatore Iuso, Angela Balzotti, Girolamo Francavilla, Andrea Dimitri, Giuseppe Cibelli, Antonello Bellomo, Annamaria PetitoAbstractReported findings on reactivity to stress of the sympathetic-adreno-medullar (SAM) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) systems in panic disorder (PD) are very variable. This inconsistency may be explained by differences in treatment exposure, illness duration and emotion regulation strategies. The present study examined the reactivity to mental stress of the SAM and HPA axes in a sample...
Source: Neuroscience Research - Category: Neuroscience Source Type: research
Authors: Xu Z, Wei B, Qiu Y, Zhang T Abstract Purpose: Patients with ulcerative colitis (UC) frequently present with psychological disturbances as well as dysfunctions of autonomic nervous system (ANS). Salivary alpha-amylase (sAA) secretion is predominantly controlled by sympathetic nervous activity, while salivary fluid secretion is by parasympathetic nervous activity. Thus, it is speculated that alterations of salivary secretion may be addressed in UC populations. Methods: Thirty-five UC patients as well as 32 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were enrolled. Saliva samples before and after citric acid st...
Source: Gastroenterology Research and Practice - Category: Gastroenterology Tags: Gastroenterol Res Pract Source Type: research
Publication date: April 2018Source: The Egyptian Journal of Critical Care Medicine, Volume 6, Issue 1Author(s): Yasser Mohammed Hassanain ElsayedAbstractQuadrigeminy means a cardiac arrhythmia in which every fourth beat is a premature ventricular contraction (extrasystole) or three sinus beats between extrasystoles. Premature ventricular contractions is one of the manifestations of sympathetic over activity due to anxiety. However, anxiety might induce electrocardiographic (ECG) changes in normal person with normal heart, as in this documented case. Patient re-assurance is a therapeutic option, without need for any other p...
Source: The Egyptian Journal of Critical Care Medicine - Category: Intensive Care Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 23 September 2017Source: International Journal of PsychophysiologyAuthor(s): Christoph Benke, Elischa Krause, Alfons O. Hamm, Christiane A. Pané-FarréAbstractResistant avoidance behaviors play a crucial role in the maintenance of anxiety disorders and are therefore central targets of therapeutic interventions. In the present study, the development of avoidance behavior was investigated in 24 healthy participants who repeatedly prematurely terminated the exposure to increasing interoceptive threat, i.e., the feeling of dyspnea induced by increasing inspiratory resistive loads...
Source: International Journal of Psychophysiology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Source Type: research
ConclusionsElectroclinical features of PI-myoclonia were more heterogeneous than traditionally described. Ictal pattern of SW was almost as frequent as classical PSW. Patients described the influence of learning new skills and anxiety on PI. Their subjective perception let us understand the impact of this reflex trait.
Source: Seizure - Category: Neurology Source Type: research
Publication date: Available online 26 April 2018Source: Research in Developmental DisabilitiesAuthor(s): Lindsey C. Partington, Jessica L. Borelli, Patricia Smiley, Ella Jarvik, Hannah F. Rasmussen, Lauren C. Seaman, Erika L. NurmiAbstractParental overcontrol (OC), the excessive regulation of a child’s behavior, cognition, and emotion, is associated with the development of child anxiety. While studies have shown that genetic factors may increase sensitivity to stress, genetic vulnerability to parental OC has not been examined in anxiety etiology. A functional polymorphism in the mu opioid receptor OPRM1 (A118G, rs179...
Source: Research in Developmental Disabilities - Category: Disability Source Type: research
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