Traditional medical science has kept the mind separate from the body. In particular, neurosciences and immunology developed independently for many years, and thus, the question of how the brain communicates with the immune system remained enigmatic until fairly recently.
Now people realize that the psyche and the soma are constantly interacting, and recent evidence indicates that the central nervous system receives messages from the immune system and vice versa messages from the brain regulate immune functions.
In this respect, neuroendocrine-immunology or psychoneuroimmunology is the new evolved science that describes such kind of interactions. Many studies show that psychological stress (acute or chronic) has immune modulatory activity.
In this book a typical psycho-neuro-endocrine-immune network has been shown. From this network Corticotrophin Releasing Factor (CRF), Adrenocorticotrophic Hormone (ACTH), glucocorticoids (GC), β-endorphin and Met-enkephalin are found as important endocrine components, and T cells, B cells, monocytes/macrophages, Natural Killer (NK) cells and their cytokines that is Tumor Necrosis Factor-α (TNF-α), interferon gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukins such as IL-1, IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 etc. are found as important immune components.
Finally, it has been shown that, acute or chronic stress have different immune modulatory activities, which are harmful to one’s homeostasis, and relaxation can help to maintain that homeostasis.
Paperback: 144 pages; Publisher: VDM Verlag Dr. Müller (September 14, 2011).