US scientists say they have hard evidence to show that certain emotions can cause flare ups of asthma.
The University of Wisconsin-Madison team discovered activity in brain areas linking the two in asthmatics who read emotive words.
One brain region has a role in obtaining information about disease symptoms while another processes emotions.
Their findings appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. These brain areas may be hyperresponsive to disease-specific emotions Dr Richard Davidson and his team asked six patients with mild asthma to take part in their experiments, reports BBC.
According to FOX News, in asthmatics, the two brain regions may be hyper-responsive to emotional and physiological signals, like inflammation, which may in turn influence the severity of symptoms, says Davidson.
"While this study was small, it shows how important specific brain circuits can be in modulating inflammation," says Davidson.
However, with such a small study it is difficult to weigh the impact of the findings, the researchers write. Larger studies are necessary in order to place any significant impact on the findings.