Researchers at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are investigating cross-talk between the brain and lungs of people with asthma in a four-year, $2.5 million study to understand how psychological stress can make asthma symptoms worse.

Through a clinical study called AsthMatic Inflammation and Neurocircuitry Activation, or MINA, the team hopes to decipher exactly how mind and body connect when people with asthma experience stress and find ways to alter brain-lung communication to help them manage their disease.

The effort is led by two groups with international reputations in the two areas united by the study: a team led by William Busse, a professor of asthma, pulmonary and critical care medicine at the UW–Madison School of Medicine and Public Health and a team headed by Richard Davidson, William James and Vilas Professor of Psychology and Psychiatry at the UW-Madison Center for Healthy Minds.