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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Does America need therapy? I don’t know about you, but I am perplexed by the millions of Americans who each and every day, continue to disregard facts, reject scientific proof, obstruct progress and deny the truth about a lot of things. This massive group also includes many of our supposedly best educated and well-informed politicians. What’s going on here? The popular wave of anti-intellectualism rolling through Washington is no longer merely pervasive — it’s aggressive. And lately it has overtaken the usual rhetoric we’ve come to expect from the conservative side of the chamber. Especially i...
Source: World of Psychology - Category: Psychiatry & Psychology Authors: Tags: Anger Anxiety and Panic Criminal Justice Minding the Media Policy and Advocacy Cognitive Distortions Gun Control gun reform mass shooting mental filtering School Shooting Source Type: blogs
Objective: The aim of the study was to examine whether anxiety and depressive symptoms are associated with an adverse cardiac autonomic profile among midlife women with hot flashes. Methods: Anxiety and depressive symptoms were evaluated by validated self-administered questionnaires among peri- and postmenopausal women in a randomized trial of slow-paced respiration for hot flashes. Pre-ejection period (PEP), a marker of sympathetic activation, and respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA), a marker of parasympathetic activation, were measured at baseline and 12 weeks using impedance cardiography and electocardiography. Mult...
Source: Menopause - Category: OBGYN Tags: Brief Report Source Type: research
This study aimed to evaluate: 1) prevalence of abnormal PsyP in TLoC patients; 2) cardiac autonomic response to head-up tilt test (HUTT) in patients with (PsyP+) or without abnormal PsyP (PsyP-), developing syncope (HUTT+) or not (HUTT-). METHODS: Forty-one patients (66% female, mean age 36 ± 15 years), with history of TLoC, underwent PsyP before HUTT. Short-term heart rate variability analysis was carried out under baseline rest condition and at peak heart rate and/or onset of syncope induced by nitroglycerine (NTG), during HUTT. RESULTS: HUTT+ occurred in 17/41 patients, more frequently in females, who h...
Source: Kardiologia Polska - Category: Cardiology Authors: Tags: Kardiol Pol Source Type: research
Introduction: Vaso-occlusive pain crisis (VOC) is a significant contributor to the morbidity of Sickle Cell Disease (SCD) and cold exposure has long been associated with increased frequency and intensity of VOC. However, the mechanism by which cold exposure causes the transition from steady state to vaso-occlusion has not been well elucidated. Decreased regional blood flow results in red blood cells spending a longer period of time in the deoxygenated state in the capillaries, increasing the likelihood of hemoglobin S polymerization in the microvasculature and subsequent vaso-occlusion. Regional blood flow is primarily reg...
Source: Blood - Category: Hematology Authors: Tags: 114. Hemoglobinopathies, Excluding Thalassemia-Clinical: Pain and Pain Management in Sickle Cell Disease Source Type: research
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Source: Journal of Neuroendocrinology - Category: Endocrinology Authors: Tags: Review Article Source Type: research
This study gives a first insight on the effect of GA consumption on offspring, providing a starting point for further studies.
Source: Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences - Category: Biology Source Type: research
Scary movies, haunted houses and other spooky activities send some people running, while others can’t get enough. But what’s actually going on in the brains of fear-loving folks? Less than you might think, according to a study recently published in the journal Emotion. After having a voluntary scary experience, the researchers found, people were in better moods and had decreased brain activity overall. “We think it’s very similar, at least at a physiological and neurological level, to the runner’s high experience, where you’re really pushing yourself and your sympathetic nervous system i...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized halloween 2018 healthytime Mental Health/Psychology Source Type: news
A functional genetic variation of SLC6A2 repressor hsa-miR-579-3p upregulates sympathetic noradrenergic processes of fear and anxiety, Published online: 19 October 2018; doi:10.1038/s41398-018-0278-4A functional genetic variation of SLC6A2 repressor hsa-miR-579-3p upregulates sympathetic noradrenergic processes of fear and anxiety
Source: Translational Psychiatry - Category: Psychiatry Authors: Source Type: research
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Source: Rehabilitation Psychology - Category: Rehabilitation Source Type: research
CONCLUSIONS: The HRV spectrum may be useful to identify subclinical emotional dysfunction in individuals with TBI. Attention difficulites, specifically impairment in visual attention shifting, may contribute to abnormal reactivity to sad stimuli that may be detected and potentially treated to improve emotional function. PMID: 30261156 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]
Source: Brain Injury - Category: Neurology Tags: Brain Inj Source Type: research
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