Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Immune System and Social Interactions

How much social interaction do you want when you are sick, extremely fatigued, or experiencing symptoms of any number of diseases, especially viral diseases? Did you ever stop to wonder if there was any connection between your immune system and whether or not you want to be around people? Perhaps you want to be with one or two persons but not a crowd in a public place.

In March of 2016 I shared information about findings by a group of researchers led by Jonathan Kipnis, chair of UVA’s Department of Neuroscience, that immune system lymph vessels run throughout the meningeal layers that cover and protect the brain and spinal cord. This discovery revolutionized the understanding of brain-immune system connections. Now additional information has been released that links the immune system with human behavior. Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have found that the immune system directly impacts the social behavior of human beings including their desire to interact with others. More tomorrow.

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