Mapping supramedullary pathways involved in cough using functional brain imaging: comparison with pain

Pulm Pharmacol Ther. 2009 Apr;22(2):90-6. doi: 10.1016/j.pupt.2008.08.003. Epub 2008 Aug 28.


Several indications suggest that supramedullary brain regions receive sensory information from the airways and provide motor control to the brainstem neurons that control coughing. However, the organization of this circuitry has not been described in any detail. In this short review we will discuss how state-of-the-art functional brain imaging techniques in humans and animals will enable unprecedented insights into the supramedullary brain regions that help control coughing. In addition we will describe the likely similarities between cough-related higher brain networks and those involved in the processing of other aversive sensory modalities, such as pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Cough / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Neural Pathways / physiopathology
  • Pain / physiopathology*