Childhood asthma symptoms such as persistent lung inflammation can lead to anxiety disorders later in life, according to research published in Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience.
Researchers studied four groups of mice: one with airway inflammation due to dust mite exposure; one that experienced episodes of labored breathing; one that experienced both conditions; and one that experienced neither, as a control. A total of 98 mice were used in the study.
The researchers found that three months after being exposed to the allergen, mice still had lung inflammation and mucus, suggesting that even when allergy triggers are removed, there are lasting effects in the lungs long into adulthood.
Additionally, they found that the mice that were exposed to the allergen and developed these changes in lung function also had changes in gene expression in brain areas that help regulate stress and serotonin.