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This Research Topic is part of the series Respiratory Control and Dysfunction in Neurological Patients.
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This Research Topic is part of the series Respiratory Control and Dysfunction in Neurological Patients.
Respiratory Control and Dysfunction in Neurological Patients

Historically, breathing problems related to neurological disease or intervention have been largely neglected. It has long been recognized that breathing as a neuromuscular control system is uniquely regulated by both voluntary behavioral control from the higher brain and involuntary reflex control from bulbopontine controllers. While much has been learned about brainstem mechanisms of respiratory control, suprapontine influences on breathing muscles are known to be widespread but remain structurally, functionally, and conceptually ill-defined. Advances in neurosurgical treatments, non-invasive stimulation and recording, and brain-imaging, lends opportunities to understand the behavioral control of breathing from the adaptive neural networks perspective.

Specific problems in respiratory control and sensation that are currently poorly understood include (i) cerebral mechanisms involved in perception of breathlessness, (ii) learning of various breathing behaviors and integration with automatic control from the brainstem, (iii) the suprapontine neural circuitry subserving breathing, and how it connects with brainstem nuclei, (iv) cerebral mechanisms of emotional and psychological influences on breathing and breathlessness, (v) the extent to which breathlessness or respiratory dysfunction contributes to the symptom burden of neurological conditions. Another goal that would fall within scope would be to better understand the causative links between neurological disease and sleep-disordered breathing behaviors. The overall goal is to apply advances in neuroscience and established concepts in neurocognition to shed new light on the cerebral mechanisms of respiratory control and sensation, and its clinical manifestation of breathlessness or breathing dysfunction.

The aim of the current Research Topic is to bring together and highlight new or neglected links between neurological conditions or interventions and our current understanding of respiratory control and sensations. Types of submission can include systematic reviews, original articles, hypothesis-generating, and case studies. Areas can include, but are not limited to:

• Impact of Parkinson’s disease or other neurodegenerative conditions on lung function, neural drive to breathe, and breathlessness.

• Application of non-invasive (TMS, TDCS, NIRS) and invasive (DBS, neurosurgery) CNS stimulation for understanding mechanisms of respiratory control and sensation

• The role of higher brain function in behavioral control of breathing and top-down influences on brainstem automatic reflex control.

• Evidence for direct effects of SARS-COV-2 on the brain that can account for respiratory signs and symptoms of Covid-19

• Role of key concepts in higher brain functioning (e.g. Bayesian brain hypothesis) on dysfunctional breathing behaviors.

Keywords: Dyspnoea, behavioural control of breathing, brain stimulation, brain imaging, non-invasive recording, #CollectionSeries


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