Psychoneuroimmunology: A Dialogue between the Brain and Immune System

Author: Kanba S
Department of Neuropsychiatry, Yamanashi Medical University (Yamanashi, Japan)
Conference/Journal: J Intl Soc Life Info Science
Date published: 2001
Other: Volume ID: 19 , Issue ID: 2 , Pages: 140-143 , Word Count: 148

A number of important discoveries in immunology were made at the beginning of the last century, a period considered to be a watershed in the study of immunology. Subsequent to these discoveries, significant progress was made in molecular biology, molecular genetics, and cell biology, and this was reflected in immunology research. Over the ensuing years, it became clear that the immune system distingushes between self and non-self, and this is the fundamental defense mechanism employed in the survival of both indivisuals and species. This mechanism is both complex and delicately regulated. Study of the brain commenced after the initial breakthroughs in immunology, however development was rapid and instrumental in the discovery of an unexpected mechanism for the maintenance of living organisms. This mechanism involved a mutual regulation (i.e. crosstalk) of the brain and the immune system, and its study has come to be referred to as psychoneuroimmunology.