The Neural Origins of Breathing
Breathing is automatic. You don’t have to think in order to breathe, but breathing does require brainwork. And it requires rhythm — which comes from the brain. William & Mary neuroscientist Christopher Del Negro studies the pre-Bötzinger complex, the surprisingly small area of the brain that regulates respiratory rhythm. His work, funded by both the National Science Foundation as well as the National Institutes of Health, is important because many elderly folks and people with neurodegenerative disease die because the stop breathing when their respiratory rhythm is disrupted.
July 21, 2019
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