Two brain areas are responsible for respiration and they reside in the lower brain stem. A study published in 2017 in The Journal of Physiological Sciences explains that one respiratory center, which is involved in minute-to-minute control of breathing, is located in the medulla oblongata. The other respiratory center is the pons, which is located just above the medulla. It mainly functions to control the rate or speed of involuntary breathing. Damage to these areas can cause issues with respiratory function and regulation. 

Depending on the blow you've received, it can also cause injury to the vagus nerve. A 2018 study in Frontiers in Psychiatry notes that because the vagus nerve is the major sensory pathway between the brain and the lungs it is responsible for crucial body functions like respiratory regulation. Therefore, injury can lead to dysregulation in breathing.

Additionally, Dental Sleep Practice notes that breathing problems from a concussion can often be misidentified as other problems. For example, disturbances in your breathing rate can lead to shortness of breath or dizziness that gets labeled as sleep-disordered breathing problems or exercise intolerance. Knowing what area of the brain was injured during impact and how it's affecting your respiratory patterns is crucial to getting the right treatment options. 

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