For those who suffer regularly with chronic, intense pain or difficulty with basic movements, there has been relative success with a treatment known as Deep Brain Stimulation, or DBS. During the process of performing this treatment, something was noticed that led to a series of experiments.
A team led by Dr. Hyam of Oxford University in the UK followed patients undergoing the DBS treatments, including many suffering with Parkinson’s disorder. The procedure involves a well placed electrode within the brain, which delivers a mild electrical charge. This can stimulate the area of the brain tied to pain sensation and movement and disrupts the abnormal signals causing the discomfort.
The study, however, was not aimed at tracking changes in pain or movement, but rather looked for changes in respiration. Extensive mapping techniques have allowed doctors to see which areas of the brain directly interact with certain functions of the body and, most notably, the autonomic nervous system.
They discovered that one of the key measurements evaluating respiratory function was increased, on average, by fourteen percent, but only when one specific area of the brain was treated. Though there are many unanswered questions remaining, this does provide a little bit of insight into how the brain interacts with the lungs and it could be the first step in devising a treatment for those who suffer from lung-related conditions, such as asthma.
Keep reading to learn more about the study and findings at the full article here