Naast een osteopatische interventie, is het vaak zinvol om gezond te gaan eten.

Neuroscience News

Neuroscience NewsDecember 7, 2016

Summary: A new study reports the rhythm of your breathing can influence neural activity that enhances memory recall and emotional judgement.

Source: Northwestern University.

Breathing is not just for oxygen; it’s now linked to brain function and behavior.

Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.

In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one. The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth.

“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”

Northwestern scientists first discovered these differences in brain activity while studying seven patients with epilepsy who were scheduled for brain surgery. A week prior to surgery, a surgeon implanted electrodes into the patients’ brains in order to identify the origin of their seizures. This allowed scientists to acquire electro-physiological data directly from their brains. The recorded electrical signals showed brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity occurs in brain areas where emotions, memory and smells are processed.

This discovery led scientists to ask whether cognitive functions typically associated with these brain areas — in particular fear processing and memory — could also be affected by breathing.

Image shows the location of the amygdala in the brain.

The amygdala is strongly linked to emotional processing, in particular fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 subjects to make rapid decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment while recording their breathing. Presented with pictures of faces showing expressions of either fear or surprise, the subjects had to indicate, as quickly as they could, which emotion each face was expressing. NeuroscienceNews.com image is for illustrtive purposes only.

The amygdala is strongly linked to emotional processing, in particular fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 subjects to make rapid decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment while recording their breathing. Presented with pictures of faces showing expressions of either fear or surprise, the subjects had to indicate, as quickly as they could, which emotion each face was expressing.

When faces were encountered during inhalation, subjects recognized them as fearful more quickly than when faces were encountered during exhalation. This was not true for faces expressing surprise. These effects diminished when subjects performed the same task while breathing through their mouths. Thus the effect was specific to fearful stimuli during nasal breathing only.

In an experiment aimed at assessing memory function — tied to the hippocampus — the same subjects were shown pictures of objects on a computer screen and told to remember them. Later, they were asked to recall those objects. Researchers found that recall was better if the images were encountered during inhalation.

The findings imply that rapid breathing may confer an advantage when someone is in a dangerous situation, Zelano said.

“If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” Zelano said. “As a result you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”

Another potential insight of the research is on the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted. About this memory research article

Other Northwestern authors include Heidi Jiang, Guangyu Zhou, Nikita Arora, Dr. Stephan Schuele and Dr. Joshua Rosenow.

Source: Marla Paul – Northwestern University
Image Source: NeuroscienceNews.com image is in the public domain.
Video Source: The video is credited to NorthwesternU.
Original Research: Abstract for “Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function” by Christina Zelano, Heidi Jiang, Guangyu Zhou, Nikita Arora, Stephan Schuele, Joshua Rosenow and Jay A. Gottfried in Journal of Neuroscience. Published online December 7 2016 doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2586-16.2016 Cite This NeuroscienceNews.com Article

Northwestern University. “Rhythm of Breathing Affects Memory and Fear.” NeuroscienceNews. NeuroscienceNews, 6 December 2016.
<http://neurosciencenews.com/memory-fear-breathing-5699/>.


Abstract

Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function

The need to breathe links the mammalian olfactory system inextricably to the respiratory rhythms that draw air through the nose. In rodents and other small animals, slow oscillations of local field potential activity are driven at the rate of breathing (∼2–12 Hz) in olfactory bulb and cortex, and faster oscillatory bursts are coupled to specific phases of the respiratory cycle. These dynamic rhythms are thought to regulate cortical excitability and coordinate network interactions, helping to shape olfactory coding, memory, and behavior. However, while respiratory oscillations are a ubiquitous hallmark of olfactory system function in animals, direct evidence for such patterns is lacking in humans. In this study, we acquired intracranial EEG data from rare patients (Ps) with medically refractory epilepsy, enabling us to test the hypothesis that cortical oscillatory activity would be entrained to the human respiratory cycle, albeit at the much slower rhythm of ∼0.16–0.33 Hz. Our results reveal that natural breathing synchronizes electrical activity in human piriform (olfactory) cortex, as well as in limbic-related brain areas, including amygdala and hippocampus. Notably, oscillatory power peaked during inspiration and dissipated when breathing was diverted from nose to mouth. Parallel behavioral experiments showed that breathing phase enhances fear discrimination and memory retrieval. Our findings provide a unique framework for understanding the pivotal role of nasal breathing in coordinating neuronal oscillations to support stimulus processing and behavior.

SIGNIFICANCE STATEMENT Animal studies have long shown that olfactory oscillatory activity emerges in line with the natural rhythm of breathing, even in the absence of an odor stimulus. Whether the breathing cycle induces cortical oscillations in the human brain is poorly understood. In this study, we collected intracranial EEG data from rare patients with medically intractable epilepsy, and found evidence for respiratory entrainment of local field potential activity in human piriform cortex, amygdala, and hippocampus. These effects diminished when breathing was diverted to the mouth, highlighting the importance of nasal airflow for generating respiratory oscillations. Finally, behavioral data in healthy subjects suggest that breathing phase systematically influences cognitive tasks related to amygdala and hippocampal functions.

“Nasal Respiration Entrains Human Limbic Oscillations and Modulates Cognitive Function” by Christina Zelano, Heidi Jiang, Guangyu Zhou, Nikita Arora, Stephan Schuele, Joshua Rosenow and Jay A. Gottfried in Journal of Neuroscience. Publish

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Most patients will derive no health improvement from medication. We should tackle the root causes of disease instead.

Dr. Asseem Malhotra (origineel artikel hier)

When former airline pilot Tony Royle came to see me last year to seek reassurance that it was OK to participate in an Ironman event, having stopped all his medications 18 months after suffering a heart attack, I was initially a little alarmed. But after talking to him, I realised he had made an informed decision to stop the medication after suffering side effects, and instead had opted for a diet and lifestyle approach to manage his heart disease.

His case is a great example of how evidence-based medicine should be practised. This is the integration of clinical expertise, the best available evidence and – most importantly – taking patients’ preferences and values into consideration.

But our healthcare system has failed to keep to this gold standard of clinical practice for the most important goal of improving patient health outcomes. 

The consequences have been devastating. Modern medicine, through over prescription, represents a major threat to public health. Peter Gøtzsche, co–founder of the reputed Cochrane Collaboration, estimates that prescribed medication is the third most common cause of death globally after heart disease and cancer.

In the UK, use of prescription drugs is at an all-time high, with almost half of adults on at least one drug and a quarter on at least three – an increase of 47% in the past decade. It’s instructive to note that life expectancy in the UK has stalled since 2010, the slowdown being one of the most significant in the world’s leading economies.

Contrary to popular belief, the cost of an ageing population in itself is not a threat to the welfare system – an unhealthy ageing population is. A Lancet analysis revealed that if rising life expectancy means years in good health, then health expenditure is expected to increase by only 0.7% of GDP by 2060.

The greatest stress on the NHS comes from managing almost entirely preventable chronic conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes. Type 2 diabetes alone (demonstrated to be reversible in up to 60% of patients) takes up approximately 10% of the NHS budget. A disturbing report from the British Heart Foundation suggests that heart attacks and strokes are set to “surge” in England over the next 20 years as the prevalence of diabetes continues to increase.

Yet rather than address the root cause of these conditions through lifestyle changes, we prioritise drugs that give – at best – only a marginal chance of long-term benefit for individuals, most of whom will derive no health outcome improvement. 

The reality is that lifestyle changes not only reduce the risk of future disease, their positive effects on quality of life happen within days to weeks. However, those patients unlucky enough to suffer side effects from prescribed medicines may find their quality of life will deteriorate in order to enjoy small longer term benefits from the medication. 

Of course patients may need to use both, but what’s important is that information is presented in a transparent way to encourage shared decision making. The Academy of Medical Royal Colleges’ Choosing Wisely campaign encourages patients to ask their doctor whether they really need a medication, test or procedure.

Prof Luis Correia, director of the Centre of Evidence Based Medicine in Brazil, says if a clinical decision is not in keeping with the patient’s individual preferences and values, “it will not work”.

A report commissioned by thinktank the King’s Fund in 2012 recommended putting patient preferences at the heart of decision making in medicine, suggesting it would not just be a victory for ethics and policy but for finance, too, as the data shows patients given all the information choose fewer treatments. But more than saving money, it will be about redistributing resources within the system to where they are needed most, in acute and social care.

This solution to the NHSfinancial crisis and giving patients the very best chance of improving their health will require a national public health campaign to reduce the amount of medications the population takes, improving lifestyle and adhering to the true principles of evidence-based medicine that make shared decision making the priority in clinical practice.

A few weeks ago, four years after his heart attack and two years after coming off all medications and dramatically changing his diet, Tony completed his first Ironman at the age of 58, revealing it’s never too late to improve fitness. But the most important message remains clear: you can’t drug people into being healthier.

• Dr Aseem Malhotra is an NHS consultant cardiologist and visiting professor of evidence-based medicine, at the Bahiana School of Medicine and Public Health, Brazil

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