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Tuesday, 30 August 2005 12:53
BNN: British Nursing News Online · www.bnn-online.co.uk
Asthma linked to emotions
A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison say the have found evidence that certain emotions can lead to brain activity which brings on asthma attacks.

Scientists found a link between that part of the brain that controls information about disease symptoms and the part that processes emotions.

The team, led by Dr Richard Davidson, monitored the brain responses of six volunteers with mild asthma when exposed to three categories of words asthma-related words, non-asthma-related words and neutral words.

The participants were also exposed to asthma triggers such as ragweed and dust-mites.

The anterior cingulate cortexand the insula brain regions responded to the asthma-related words, while brain activity was also linked to physical reactions from the inhaled allergens.

The researchers said: "These brain areas may be hyperresponsive to disease-specific emotions."

They added that this, in turn, might contribute to a worsening of symptoms.

Chairman of the British Lung Foundation Dr Mark Britton said on the BBC news website: "These are interesting findings.

"We have always known that asthma and a patient's personality and emotions are very intrinsically bound up with each other.

"We do need further research into this."


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