Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Study: Brain Structures Contribute To Asthma

Date:
August 29, 2005
Source:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Summary:
The mere mention of a stressful word like "wheeze" can activate two brain regions in asthmatics during an attack, and this brain activity may be associated with more severe asthma symptoms, according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers and collaborators.

MADISON -- The mere mention of a stressful word like "wheeze" canactivate two brain regions in asthmatics during an attack, and thisbrain activity may be associated with more severe asthma symptoms,according to a study by University of Wisconsin-Madison researchers andcollaborators.

Related Articles


The study, which appears in the Proceedings of the National Academyof Sciences (Online, August 29, 2005), reveals a functional linkbetween emotion processing centers in the brain and certainphysiological processes relevant to disease.

UW-Madison psychology professor Richard Davidson, an expert onemotions; and UW-Madison medicine professor William Busse, an expert onasthma; are senior co-authors on the study. Melissa Rosenkranz, agraduate student at the UW-Madison Laboratory for AffectiveNeuroscience, is the lead author.

"While this study was small, it shows how important specificbrain circuits can be in modulating inflammation," says Davidson,director of the affective neuroscience laboratory and the WaismanLaboratory for Functional Brain Imaging and Behavior. "The data suggestpotential future targets for the development of drugs and behavioralinterventions to control asthma and other stress-responsive disorders."

Previous studies and clinical evidence have shown that stressand emotional turmoil adversely affect people with inflammatorydiseases like asthma. And signs of inflammation have been shown toaffect the brain. But until now, nobody knew exactly what braincircuits were involved in these seemingly intertwined emotional andimmune events or how the circuits might influence the severity of anacute asthma response.

Researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI)to scan the brains of six mildly asthmatic people who were asked toinhale ragweed or dust-mite extracts.

Subjects were then shown three types of words: asthma-related(such as "wheeze"), non-asthma negative (such as "loneliness") andneutral (such as "curtains"). Shortly after, researchers measured lungfunction in the subjects as well as molecular signs of inflammation intheir sputum.

The fMRI scans revealed that the asthma-related termsstimulated robust responses in two brain regions--the anteriorcingulate cortex and the insula--that were strongly correlated withmeasures of lung function and inflammation. The other types of wordswere not strongly associated with lung function or inflammation.

The two brain structures are involved in transmittinginformation about the physiological condition of the body, such asshortness of breath and pain levels, says Davidson, and they havestrong connections with other brain structures essential in processingemotional information.

"In asthmatics, the anterior cingulate cortex and the insulamay be hyper-responsive to emotional and physiological signals, likeinflammation, which may in turn influence the severity of symptoms,"says Davidson.

The researchers suspect that other brain regions may also be involved in the asthma-stress interaction.



Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Wisconsin-Madison. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Study: Brain Structures Contribute To Asthma." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 August 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050829073221.htm>.
University of Wisconsin-Madison. (2005, August 29). Study: Brain Structures Contribute To Asthma. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050829073221.htm
University of Wisconsin-Madison. "Study: Brain Structures Contribute To Asthma." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/08/050829073221.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

U.S. Ebola Response Measures Demonstrated

AP (Oct. 31, 2014) Officials in the Washington area showed off Ebola response measures being taken at Dulles International Airport and the National Institutes of Health. (Oct. 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

Fauci Says Ebola Risk in US "essentially Zero"

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) NIAID Director Anthony Fauci said the risk of Ebola becoming an epidemic in the U.S. is essentially zero Thursday at the Washington Ideas Forum. He also said an Ebola vaccine will be tested in West Africa in the next few months. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

Nurse Defies Ebola Quarantine With Bike Ride

AP (Oct. 30, 2014) A nurse who vowed to defy Maine's voluntary quarantine for health care workers who treated Ebola patients followed through on her promise Thursday, leaving her home for an hour-long bike ride. (Oct. 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

Pot-Infused Edibles Raise Concerns in Colorado

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) Colorado may have legalized marijuana for recreational use, but the debate around the decision still continues, with a recent - failed - attempt to ban cannabis-infused edibles. Duration: 01:53 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins