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A recent survey conducted by the Salk Group discovered a neural network in a person’s brain that coordinates the rhythm of breathing that controls the emotions of fear and pain. The study’s authors highlighted that the study’s results could develop a protein that increases the rate of prevention against opioid-induced respiratory depression. 

The condition causes changes in breathing patterns 

The disease disrupts the breathing patterns that lead to unpredicted deaths caused by its overdose. Previous studies conducted in pain management, and philosophical experiments to discover the origin of pain, have not reached a breakthrough as the study authors. 

The research was published in the December Neuron edition, and the scientists focused on the parabrachial nucleus. The parabrachial nucleus is a network of neurons in the brain stream arranged in a configuration that resembles a core shell.

The study authors are the first to discover the connection between the three factors. One of the leading authors, Sung Han, stated that by learning how the region’s neurons operate, scientists might manipulate the breathing and pain patterns and create a treatment that prevents pain by suppressing the breath patterns. 

How researchers conducted the study

The scientists investigated the nucleus’s connection to the coordination of breathing patterns and an individual’s feelings and pain. They carried out experiments in mice by utilizing agents rich in light and chemicals late utilized the fluorescent tracers to trace the inputs and outputs to the MOR-expressing neurons. 

Published in the December edition of the Neuron, the study reported that a set of the neurons are positioned in the central amygdala, while another set surrounds the pre-botzinger complex. The scientists discovered that the network of neurons transmits pain and emotions that are coordinated with breathing patterns. 

The scientists discovered complex circuits consisting of up and downstream input to the neurons. This discovery assisted scientists in illustrating how an individual’s breathing patterns are affected by emotions such as pain and anxiety. 

The study authors are investigating the genetic analyses of the neurons to establish the genetic markers that control the pain and breathing patterns. The study authors also anticipate establishing an application that supports their discovery.