Influence From The Lungs
The lungs contain stretch receptors which also appear to influence respiration. When the lungs expand during inspiration, stretch receptors in the lung walls are activated and act via the vagus nerve to inhibit the inspiratory centre in the medulla oblongata and allow reflex expiration to occur . These receptors are particularly important in animals and in young babies who have a poorly organised brainstem but their role in adults remains uncertain, especially during quiet respiration. Marieb suggests that this mechanism is probably protective rather than regulatory.
Other receptors in the lungs are sensitive to irritants such as gases, debris, inhaled foreign bodies and excess mucus. When they are activated, these receptors influence the respiratory centre via the vagus nerve so that coughing can occur to clear the irritant.
The Biggest Part: The Cerebrum
The biggest part of the brain is the cerebrum. The cerebrum is the thinking part of the brain and it controls your voluntary muscles the ones that move when you want them to. So you need your cerebrum to dance or kick a soccer ball.
You need your cerebrum to solve math problems, figure out a video game, and draw a picture. Your memory lives in the cerebrum both short-term memory and long-term memory . The cerebrum also helps you reason, like when you figure out that you’d better do your homework now because your mom is taking you to a movie later.
The cerebrum has two halves, with one on either side of the head. Scientists think that the right half helps you think about abstract things like music, colors, and shapes. The left half is said to be more analytical, helping you with math, logic, and speech. Scientists do know for sure that the right half of the cerebrum controls the left side of your body, and the left half controls the right side.
Can You Recover From A Brainstem Injury
A brainstem injury can have severe effects because the brainstem controls so many of your bodys most basic functions. But people do recover from some types of brainstem injuries.
Its important to get care right away if you suspect a brainstem injury. The sooner you get care, the more likely your healthcare providers can reduce the damage. You may need rehabilitation and other special care after a brainstem injury.
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Disorders Of Voluntary Breathing
Voluntary control of breathing is mediated primarily via the corticospinal and corticobulbar tracts and is important in activities such as speech, singing, and voluntary breath holding. Disorders involving this mechanism occur mainly in bilateral pontine infarctions and lesions involving the pontine tegmentum that interrupt the descending motor pathways. The classical situation is that of patients with a locked-in syndrome. Such patients have a constant unvarying respiratory rhythm that cannot be modulated voluntarily. Thus, they are unable to hold their breath, breathe in deeply, or cough voluntarily. Reflex responses and responses to chemoreceptors remain intact. Partial lesions of the high cervical cord that selectively involve the corticospinal tracts at the C3-C4 segments can also produce a similar condition.7
An analogous disorder occurs in patients with bilateral hemispherical disorders . Such patients can have a respiratory apraxia in which they are unable to voluntarily hold their breath or take a deep breath on command. Swallowing on command is also impaired, although automatic swallowing is preserved. These patients commonly also display other release reflexes such as frontal release reflexes and gegenhalten.
Shweta Prasad, … Robert Chen, in, 2021
Nerves Involved In Breathing
The phrenic nerve and the intercostal nerves are those that transmit motor commands to the diaphragm and intercostal muscles that cause rhythmic contraction and relaxation movements of the rib cage.
The cell bodies of these nerves are found in the spinal cord and receive signals from the medullary respiratory center. When these motor neurons stimulate the inspiratory muscles, they trigger the inspiration movement expiration occurs when these neurons do not transmit impulses.
The dorsal group of the medullary respiratory center consists mainly of inspiratory neurons, whose descending fibers synapse with the mentioned spinal cord motor neurons.
The ventral group is interconnected with the dorsal group, and is composed of both inspiratory and expiratory fibers. But this group is inactive during normal breathing it only intervenes when ventilation needs to be increased and is especially important to intensify expiration.
During normal breathing, no signals are sent through the descending pathways of the expiratory neurons. The motor neurons that innervate the expiratory muscles are only stimulated when active expiration is required.
Furthermore, inspiratory neurons in the ventral group, when stimulated by the dorsal group, accelerate inspiratory activity when ventilatory demands increase.
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Applying The Research Outside The Lab
Looking ahead, the research team wants to study and target the neurons in this newly identified region of the brain.
Dr. Tatiana Anderson says researchers will study ways to target the neurons in this newly identified region of the brain to identify potential therapies.
Well be looking more carefully at the neurons in this PiCo region of the brain to see, for example, if in patients with neurodegenerative diseases these neurons are reduced or not functioning properly, Ramirez said. Perhaps we can identify drugs or other therapies that can target these neurons, added Anderson.
The researchers say this region of the brain may also be implicated in disorders such as Sudden Infant Death Syndrome , which is thought to be linked to abnormalities in the part of an infants brain that controls breathing and arousal.
Identifying a region of the brain responsible for such a basic human functionbreathingis a rare and exciting opportunity, Ramirez said.
It has been 25 years since scientists found the part of the brain essential for inhalation, he said. Discovering another brain area critical for breathing was unexpected. Were excited to have found it and will keep pursuing this promising line of research.
What Is Neural Control Of Respiration
The neural control of respiration refers to functional interactions between networks of neurons that regulate movements of the lungs, airways and chest wall and abdomen, in order to accomplish effective organismal uptake of oxygen and expulsion of carbon dioxide, airway liquids and irritants, regulation of
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The Medullary Respiratory Centre
Rhythmic breathing is initiated by the respiratory centre in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem. This centre has two groups of neurones: a ventral group and a dorsal group.
The dorsal group is sometimes referred to as the inspiratory centre because it acts as the respiratory pacemaker. The neurones may be self-excitatory in a similar way to the cardiac cells at the sinoatrial node, although this is not certain . Without other influences, these neurones switch on for approximately two seconds and off for three in a constant, rhythmic pattern. A simple calculation provides the number of breaths per minute which are generated by the inspiratory centre:
One minute = 60 seconds
One respiratory cycle = five seconds
Respiratory rate per minute = 60/5 = 12 breaths per minute
In practice, the normal respiratory rate is 12-18 breaths per minute in adults and 18-20 breaths per minute in children .
Respiratory rate is determined by the length of time the inspiratory centre is active before it is switched off. The depth of each inspiration is determined by the strength of the nerve stimulus to the muscles of respiration – the greater the stimulus, the greater the depth of respiration.
Control Of Breathing And Physiologic Contributions To Immature Respiratory Control
Respiratory control and its maturation is under tight regulation, with interplay from the central and peripheral nervous systems and feedback from the lung parenchyma and airway musculature. Our still limited knowledge of the normal and pathophysiologic developmental pathways governing the control of breathing comes from both human and animal studies. Understanding the normal developmental trajectory and maturation of each component coupled with its modification by postnatal environmental factors can inform clinicians about the magnitude of disordered breathing control in preterm and former preterm infants, providing guidelines for monitoring and targets for treatment.
Central Respiratory Control
Peripheral Respiratory Control
The central nervous system signals are synthesized by end organs that provide feedback via pulmonary and lower airway vagal afferents. The sensory receptors in the lung are either fast-conducting myelinated fibers or slow-conducting unmyelinated fibers that terminate in the NTS. Projections from the NTS then innervate the phrenic motor neurons in the medulla, pons, and spinal cord. The selective activation and inhibition of the SARs, RARs, and C-fibers each separately affect cardiopulmonary reflexes, discussed separately in this section. Premature infants have uniquely distinct developmental features that make their peripheral respiratory control a clinical management challenge.
Andrew B Lumb MB BS FRCA, in, 2017
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Respiratory Adaptation To High Altitude
Any fall in the partial pressure of oxygen in blood is quickly detected by the peripheral chemoreceptors located in the carotid bodies. In response, they signal to the respiratory center located in the medulla oblongata of the brainstem to increase ventilation. This process is known as the hypoxic ventilatory response and its magnitude varies widely between individuals. Those with a brisk HVR show a large increase in minute volume compared to those with a blunted HVR when exposed to same degree of hypoxemia. Hyperventilation initiated by the HVR removes alveolar carbon dioxide more rapidly and thus creates a higher alveolar partial pressure of oxygen according to the alveolar gas equation.
The simplified alveolar gas equation:
PAO2 = alveolar partial pressure of oxygen Patm = atmospheric pressure PH2O = the saturated vapor pressure of water PaCO2 = arterial partial pressure of carbon dioxide RQ = respiratory quotient.
Donald Simon Urquhart, Florian Gahleitner, in, 2022
Attention And Prediction Updating
Attention is a way of amplifying what is relevant and salient, leaving the rest in the background . Usually, the regulation of breath happens without paying attention to it and the physiological and emotional changes that come with it follow automatically. However, attention can be used as a tool to deliberately control the breath. In predictive processing terms, attention weights PEs by increasing the precision of the sensations being attended to Smout et al. . What this means is that bottom-up information, happening now, is prioritized over top-down predictions based on previous experience. Consequently, attention opens the possibility to re-evaluate sensations by amplifying their importance, which contributes to the updating of associated priors.
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What Is The Medulla Oblongata And What Does It Do
For most of the 18th century, the medulla oblongata was thought to simply be an extension of the spinal cord without any distinct functions of its own. This changed in 1806, when Julien-Jean-Cesar Legallois found that he could remove the cortex and cerebellum of rabbits and they would continue to breathe. When he removed a specific section of the medulla, however, respiration stopped immediately. Legallois had found what he believed to be a ârespiratory centerâ in the medulla, and soon after the medulla was considered to be a center of vital functions .
Over time, exactly which âvital functionsâ were linked to the medulla would become more clear, and the medulla would come to be recognized as a crucial area for the control of both cardiovascular and respiratory functions. The role of the medulla in cardiovascular function involves the regulation of heart rate and blood pressure to ensure that an adequate blood supply continues to circulate throughout the body at all times. To accomplish this, a nucleus in the medulla called the nucleus of the solitary tract receives information from stretch receptors in blood vessels. These receptorsâcalled baroreceptorsâcan detect when the walls of blood vessels expand and contract, and thus can detect changes in blood pressure.
Section : Identification Of The Pfrg In The Respiratory Rhythm Generator Neuron Complex Using A Novel Transgenic Rat Line Harboring Phox2b
The pFRG has been named based on its position relative to the facial nucleus. It is located ventral and caudal to the facial nucleus, and predominantly consists of neurons that burst prior to inspiration . The pFRG at least partially overlaps the retrotrapezoid nucleus , which has been identified as an area in which neurons with projections to the ventral respiratory group originate . Thus, this region is also referred to as the pFRG/RTN. The caudal portion of the pFRG overlaps the most rostral portion of the ventral respiratory group , which is the ventral part of the retrofacial nucleus near the caudal end of the facial nucleus and is thought to play an important role in the respiratory rhythm generation, particularly of the adult in vivo preparation . This caudal portion of the pFRG corresponds to so-called rostral ventrolateral medulla , where most Pre-I, inspiratory, and expiratory neurons have been recorded in previous electrophysiological studies.
The paired-like homeobox 2b gene encodes the Phox2b transcription factor and is required for the development of a subset of cranial nerves and the lower brainstem nuclei in the central nervous system and the peripheral autonomic nervous system. The distribution of pFRG-Pre-I neurons overlaps with that of Phox2b-expressing cells 2) . It is of note that pFRG-Pre-I neurons in the deeper ventral medulla at the caudal area are Phox2b-negative .
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The Science Of Breathing: How Our Brain Controls Breathing
We are investigating how the brain controls breathing, which will allow us to assist those with breathing difficulties, such as people with spinal cord injuries or disorders such as obstructive sleep apnoea.
Prof Simon Gandevia
Prof Simon Gandevia has taken approximately 413,931,075 breaths in his lifetime and counting.
Ok, so maybe hes not exactly counting. But while most of us dont even notice our breathing, Prof Gandevia has spent his entire working life pondering how it is that we control this very important and often unappreciated process.
Breathing to me is the most important function of your muscles, apart from your heart, he says. It has to go all the time, without conscious thought. Its controlled differently from the way the muscles in your arms and legs are controlled. Understanding the control of breathing for me is an intellectual challenge.
Simons father was a respiratory physician and a very good teacher who was happy to show me lots of things, says Simon, including scientific dissections of animals during school holidays. Simon says these experiences nurtured his innate curiosity about how animals especially humans are put together.
It was very easy to get me intrigued. My interest is really in how biological things work, ultimately how the human body works, he says.
Bill Brooks says the coughalator saved his life
They rang me up and said, we dont know what to do about this guy, can you think of anything? says Simon.
And he did.
The Cells Composing The Prebtc
Although the preBötC is a region containing rhythmogenic cells, it does not exhibit a distinct nucleus . The preBötC contains glutamatergic excitatory and GABAergic and glycinergic inhibitory neurons . All of the neurons in the preBötC are interneurons . The rhythmogenic neurons in the preBötC have been characterized using anatomical markers, including neurokinin-1 receptor , somatostatin , and Dbx1 . Furthermore, using a combination of immunohistochemistry for the detection of NK1R and in situ hybridization for the detection of preprotachykinin A , a precursor for substance P and a ligand for NK1R, we demonstrated the presence of PPTA mRNA-positive and NK1R-immunoreactive neurons that could play important roles in rhythm generation in the preBötC .
Colocalization of neurons and astrocytes in the ventrolateral medulla. Neurons and astrocytes are identified as neuron-specific marker NeuN-positive cells and astrocyte-specific marker S100b-positive cells , respectively. a Ventrolateral medullary region. The square indicates the preBötC region, and corresponds to the area in b. b An enlarged image of the preBötC. The square indicates the area in c. c A high-magnification picture showing colocalized cell bodies of neurons and astrocytes. Amb nucleus ambiguus
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Sma And Premotor Cortex
In our study, we identified extensive activity bilaterally within the SMA. The SMA is functionally divided into an anterior portion, involved in the planning and selection of motor action , and a posterior portion, associated with execution and imagination of movements . The respiratory-related task performed by the subjects in this study was a learned task requiring precision and control in planning and executing the movement, thereby explaining activation of the SMA. Also, in common with the previous imaging studies , voluntary hyperpnea in this study was associated with a lateralization of premotor activity to the right. This activity may be attributed to a greater degree of attention associated with volitional inspiration or volitional expiration.
Sighing Sniffing And Deep Breathing
The first group of neurons he found were the ones that control sighing. A sigh is essentially a double breath that allows the lungs to fully inflate. This is physiologically important because the many minute alveoli of the lungs begin to collapse in the course of normal breathing and must be reinflated through sighing.
In fact, all mammals sigh, and the smaller the animal, the more frequent the sighing because tinier alveoli are more prone to collapse. We hardly notice it, but humans spontaneously sigh about every five minutes. Mice sigh every two minutes.
Through his genetic screening, Yackle found some cells near the preBötC that were producing an interesting molecule. Earlier work by Feldmans lab at UCLA had found that a similar molecule called bombesin could induce sighing when injected into the brain stem. Realizing they held different pieces of the same puzzle, the two labs worked together to identify the preBötC neurons responsible for sighing. When these neurons are disabled, mice do not sigh.
Since then, Yackle has also identified neurons in the preBötC that act as a relay station between breathing and a brain area involved in attention and arousal. Sniffing in mice normally triggers alertness, but with these neurons disabled, the feedback system is broken and mice are uncharacteristically calm instead of anxiously exploring a new environment, they settle down to groom.
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