In people with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) reduced the amount of gray matter, established scientists from the University of Leuven. COPD in the vast majority of cases it develops in smokers with the experience. As it turned out, in this disease a decrease in the size of brain areas responsible for fear, the feeling of pain and the occurrence of dyspnea. About the study the newspaper writes Zee News.
Patients with COPD have permanent rales in the lungs and shortness of breath. Scientists examined 30 patients with the disease on the MRI machine and came to the conclusion that COPD affects not only the lungs but also the brain.
In disease of the lungs reduces the volume of gray matter in the area of the cingulate cortex, hippocampus and tonsils. Perhaps these changes exacerbate dyspnea in obstructive disease and are responsible for the development of the fear of suffocation.