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Ok, as I continue my USMLE Consult subscription that I won from here, I learned a new thing

THE REGULATION OF RESPIRATION

Respiration is controlled by spontaneous rhythmic discharges from the respiratory centre in the medulla, modulated by input from pontine and higher central nervous system (CNS) centres and vagal afferents from the lungs. Various chemical factors affect the respiratory centre including the blood partial pressure of carbon dioxide (PCO2), by an action on medullary chemoreceptors, and the blood partial pressure of oxygen (PO2), by an action on the chemoreceptors in the aortic and carotid bodies.

A moderate degree of voluntary control can be superimposed on the automatic regulation of breathing, and this implies connections between the cortex and the motor neurons innervating the muscles of respiration. Bulbar poliomyelitis and certain lesions in the brainstem result in loss of the automatic regulation of respiration without loss of voluntary regulation. (This has been referred to as 'Ondine's curse'. Ondine was a water nymph who fell in love with a mortal. When he was unfaithful to her, the king of the water nymphs put a curse on him-that he must stay awake in order to breathe. When exhaustion finally supervened and he fell asleep, he died.)

last paragraph is kinda interesting....:p
 
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