Study Finds Link Between Slow Breathing, Brain Cells | NBC 7 San Diego
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Study Finds Link Between Slow Breathing, Brain Cells

The researchers are hopeful their findings can lead to therapies for stress, depression and more

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    Study Finds Link Between Slow Breathing, Brain Cells
    Dan Kitwood/Getty Images, FIle
    A woman walks to work in freezing conditions on January 4, 2010 in London, England. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)

    One common way to calm down is to breathe slower, and brain researchers say they've figured out how that works, "Today" reported.

    A Stanford-led study of mice found that cells in the brain stem linked to mood and activity are triggered when the animal breathes slowly.

    "There are many distinct types of breaths: regular, excited, sighing, yawning, gasping, sleeping, laughing, sobbing," said Mark Krasnow, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute biochemistry professor at Stanford University who oversaw the study. "We wondered if different subtypes of neurons within the respiratory control center might be in charge of generating these different types of breath."

    The researchers are hopeful their findings, reported in the journal Science, can lead to therapies for stress, depression and more, even a better way to prevent sudden infant death syndrome.