Links for Keyword: Neuroimmunology

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Up to three in 10 people who are injured do not recover as quickly as expected for psychological reasons, according to new study. In 5% to 10% of cases a minor physical injury becomes a major problem, affecting insurance claims and the length of time off work, it found. The work was done for the Association of British Insurers and International Underwriting Association. Insurers want to intervene earlier to prevent cases becoming too expensive. The report found that the recovery of between 20% and 30% of people injured in car accidents or at work was hampered by psychological factors. The organisations commissioned the research after evidence showed factors such as depression were affecting people's recovery from accidents. The report said the problem helps to explain why many injury claims take much longer to settle and at far greater cost than first seemed likely. Chief executive of the Motor Insurers' Bureau Ashton West, who chaired the research panel, said insurers would usually expect injuries such as back sprain or whiplash to clear up quickly. (C)BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 5898 - Posted: 07.28.2004

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Feeling sick can be "all in the head" for people with inflammatory disorders or for those receiving immunotherapy, say Robert Dantzer and Keith Kelley, professors in the department of animal sciences at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "For the first time, we have evidence of a strong relationship between a molecular event and the development of psychopathology," Dantzer said. The two scientists, who have collaborated for 25 years, have identified how a molecular pathway in the brain may explain why some patients suffering from inflammatory diseases develop depression. "The goal of our research is to understand the mechanisms that are responsible for causing depression in patients with inflammatory diseases," Dantzer said. Depressive disorders occur in 12 to 30 percent of patients who suffer from various diseases with an inflammatory component, including coronary heart disease and autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and inflammatory bowels. These mood disorders usually are attributed to psychological problems encountered by patients having to deal with the suffering and disability brought about by their diseases.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 16: Psychopathology: Biological Basis of Behavior Disorders; Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 12: Psychopathology: The Biology of Behavioral Disorders; Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 5891 - Posted: 07.28.2004

By ABRAHAM VERGHESE In America, we have always taken it as an article of faith that we ''battle'' cancer; we attack it with knives, we poison it with chemotherapy or we blast it with radiation. If we are fortunate, we ''beat'' the cancer. If not, we are posthumously praised for having ''succumbed after a long battle.'' If you accept the war metaphor (and not everyone does), then a diagnosis of cancer becomes a call to arms, an induction into an army, and it goes without saying that in such a war, optimism is essential. Memoirs of cancer survivors and the Web sites of some cancer centers state this as a creed: a ''positive attitude'' influences survival. But a recent Australian study of 204 people with lung cancer found that those who were optimistic before and after treatment did not live longer; they did not fare better (or worse) than their less hopeful counterparts. Earlier studies have examined cancer patients' helplessness or depression or pessimism. The results are a mixed bag, with some studies showing that a negative attitude hurts survival and others showing no relation between one's temperament and one's survival. What makes the Australian effort different is that it focused rigorously on a fairly large group of patients with a single type and stage of cancer, and it used a well-accepted method for assessing optimism. The study followed patients for five years. By taking these steps, the Australians overcame many (though not all) of their predecessors' methodological weaknesses. (Ideally, they would have examined whether optimism detected before a diagnosis of cancer was ever made -- optimism as a character trait, rather than as an attitude after diagnosis -- correlated with outcome.) Optimism, it seems, is overrated -- at least when it comes to this particular form of cancer. Biology (and the availability of effective treatment) determines fate. Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 5019 - Posted: 02.22.2004

How you react to stress influences how easily you resist or succumb to disease, including viruses like HIV, discovered UCLA AIDS Institute scientists. Reported in the Dec.15 edition of Biological Psychiatry, the new findings identify the immune mechanism that makes shy people more susceptible to infection than outgoing people. "Since ancient Greece, physicians have noticed that persons with a 'melancholic temperament' are more vulnerable to viral infections," said Steve Cole, principal investigator and assistant professor of hematology-oncology at the David Geffen School of Medicine and a member of the UCLA AIDS Institute. "During the AIDS epidemic, researchers found that introverted people got sick and died sooner than extroverted people," said Bruce Naliboff, co-author and a clinical professor at the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute and Veterans Affairs Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System. "Our study pinpoints the biological mechanism that connects personality and disease."

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4710 - Posted: 12.17.2003

By C. CLAIBORNE RAY [Q] . A neighbor lost her husband to a brain infection called fungal cerebral mucormycosis. What is it? A. Luckily this is a rare problem; it comes from certain kinds of very common funguses that may be inhaled or swallowed by almost anyone anywhere. In a few susceptible people, the funguses may take hold of the lining of the mouth or nasal tract, or mucosa, and multiply, moving in a very short time to the brain and sometimes to other organs by way of the bloodstream. Death rates are high, especially when surgery to remove the fungal masses and infiltrated tissues and treatment with antifungal drugs are not undertaken soon enough. Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4337 - Posted: 10.05.2003

Pouring your emotions out on paper could help wounds heal quicker, researchers say. It is thought that writing about troubling experiences helps people deal with them. This could then help the immune system work more effectively, researchers told the British Psychological Society conference in Stoke-on-Trent. They say their findings offer a cheap and easy to administer way of helping patients heal faster. In the study, which involved 36 people, half were asked to write about the most upsetting experience they had had, spelling out how they had felt. The rest of the study participants wrote about trivial things, such as how they spent their free time. (C) BBC

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4225 - Posted: 09.07.2003

By ERICA GOODE Most people accept the idea that stress and depression chip away at the body's natural ability to fight off disease. But many medical scientists have remained skeptical that the mind can exert such a direct influence over the immune system. In recent years, however, evidence has accumulated that psychology can indeed affect biology. Studies have found, for example, that people who suffer from depression are at higher risk for heart disease and other illnesses. Other research has shown that wounds take longer to heal in women who care for patients with Alzheimer's disease than in other women who are not similarly stressed. And people under stress have been found to be more susceptible to colds and flu, and to have more severe symptoms after they fall ill. Now a new study adds another piece to the puzzle. Researchers at the University of Wisconsin are reporting today that the activation of brain regions associated with negative emotions appears to weaken people's immune response to a flu vaccine. Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4196 - Posted: 09.02.2003

MADISON - Staying healthy may involve more than washing hands or keeping a positive attitude. According to a new study from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, it also may involve a particular pattern of brain activity. By monitoring activity levels in the human brain's prefrontal cortex, the researchers demonstrate for the first time that people who have more activity in the left side of this area also have a stronger immune response against disease. The findings, soon to be published in the online edition of the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, pinpoint one of the mechanisms underlying the link between mental and physical well-being. Numerous scientific studies show that keeping a positive attitude can keep a person healthy, says Richard Davidson, a UW-Madison neuroscientist and senior author of the paper. But he adds that the reasons why this connection exists are poorly understood.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4195 - Posted: 09.02.2003

People who are energetic, happy and relaxed are less likely to catch colds, while those who are depressed, nervous or angry are more likely to complain about cold symptoms, whether or not they get bitten by the cold bug, according to a recent study. Study participants who had a positive emotional style weren't infected as often and experienced fewer symptoms compared to people with a negative emotional style, say Sheldon Cohen, Ph.D., of Carnegie Mellon University and colleagues, writing in the July issue of Psychosomatic Medicine. Cohen's team interviewed 334 healthy volunteers three evenings a week for two weeks to assess their emotional states. The volunteers described how they felt that day in three positive-emotion areas: vigor, well-being and calm. They were also questioned about three categories of negative feelings: depression, anxiety and hostility.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 4068 - Posted: 07.22.2003

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- A liposuction-like procedure called lipectomy results in a loss of humoral immune protection in two commonly studied rodent models, the prairie vole and the Siberian hamster, scientists have found. The report by a team of researchers at Indiana University, Ohio State University and Johns Hopkins University was made available online this week by The Royal Society. Their study is the first to show that even a moderate loss of fat leads to decreased amounts of infection-fighting IgG antibodies. "We were able to show that even a subtle decrease in fat can decrease humoral immunity, which has the potential to increase disease susceptibility," said Indiana University biologist Gregory Demas, who led the study. "We knew that immune function is energetically costly, but it is now clear that animals use energy stored as fat to bolster immunity and likely to combat infection." Copyright 2002, the Trustees of Indiana University

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 13: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 9: Homeostasis: Active Regulation of the Internal Environment
Link ID: 3626 - Posted: 03.29.2003

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A new study found that Siberian hamsters boost their immune function during the winter in order to help them cope with the seasonal stresses of cold weather and limited food. Researchers at Ohio State University and their colleagues found that the hamsters had higher levels of certain immune cells in their bloodstream during the short days of winter. In addition, during acute stress, hamsters kept in winter-like conditions launched a more vigorous immune response in preparation for potential injury or infection. Hamsters take a cue from the decreasing length of days as winter approaches as a signal to boost their immune function, according to the study, which will be published in the March 19 edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 14: Biological Rhythms, Sleep, and Dreaming
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress; Chapter 10: Biological Rhythms and Sleep
Link ID: 1717 - Posted: 03.19.2002

In a discovery that demonstrates a clear link between the mind and body at a molecular level, scientists have shown that a chemical signal which normally allows nerve cells to communicate with each other - to alter sleep cycles, for example -- can also re-direct actions of the immune system. The research in mice confirms mounting evidence from studies of cultured cells that the nervous system directly influences the immune system. It has prompted new experiments to determine if the nerve-generated signal or its receptors in the immune system might make good drug targets to control asthma or allergies. "This is the first clue of a practical pharmacological approach to using the nervous system for both improving immune defenses and damping harmful immune responses at their roots in diseases as diverse as arthritis and asthma," said Edward Goetzl, MD. Copyright 2001 Regents of the University of California. All Rights Reserved.

Related chapters from BN8e: Chapter 15: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Related chapters from MM:Chapter 11: Emotions, Aggression, and Stress
Link ID: 1003 - Posted: 11.16.2001