Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Carnegie Mellon Researcher Say Stress Reduction May Help Our Bodies Defend Against Illness, Disease

Date:
January 7, 1998
Source:
Carnegie Mellon University
Summary:
Can stress reduction help our bodies defend against cancer? Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh researchers addressing this question are optimistic but not yet sure.

PITTSBURGH--Can stress reduction help our bodies defend against cancer? Carnegie Mellon University and University of Pittsburgh researchers addressing this question are optimistic but not yet sure.

In an editorial in the Jan. 7, 1998 Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Carnegie Mellon psychologist Sheldon Cohen and University of Pittsburgh Medical School immunologist Bruce Rabin say that stress influences on the immune function may have implications for defenses against the development or growth of malignant tissue. However, the evidence for such a relationship is incomplete.

There are a number pathways through which stress might influence immune function, they say. These include biological links, such as nerves connecting the brain and the immune system, and stress-elicited release of hormones from the brain that alter the functions of immune cells. Stress might also alter immunity through its effects on behaviors such as increases in smoking and drinking alcohol, and loss of sleep.

Their commentary for the Journal of the National Cancer Institute was a reaction to an analysis of the association between the experience of stress among breast cancer patients and the function of their immune system reported by psychologist Barbara Andersen of The Ohio State University.

Cohen and Rabin evaluate evidence for stress-elicited immune change influencing cancer progression. They suggest there is substantial evidence that psychological stress can alter immune function. However, the role of the immune system in cancer is less clear, and there are questions as to whether the types of changes in immunity that occur under stress are the same types that might be important for cancer. The two researchers also discuss studies that demonstrate that interventions designed to reduce stress might lessen cancer recurrence and prolong life.

However, they point out that it is unclear whether beneficial effects of stress-reduction occur because of changes in immune function. Overall, their editorial suggests that existing evidence is consistent with an important role of stress-elicited immune changes in cancer but that convincing evidence for such a link is still a ways off.

Cohen is the author of two landmark studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) that link stress to immune function. The New England Journal of Medicine report in 1991 was the first to link stress as a cause of the common cold. A 1997 JAMA report revealed that people with diverse social roles and supportive social networks are less likely to develop colds.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Carnegie Mellon University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Carnegie Mellon University. "Carnegie Mellon Researcher Say Stress Reduction May Help Our Bodies Defend Against Illness, Disease." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 January 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980107070237.htm>.
Carnegie Mellon University. (1998, January 7). Carnegie Mellon Researcher Say Stress Reduction May Help Our Bodies Defend Against Illness, Disease. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980107070237.htm
Carnegie Mellon University. "Carnegie Mellon Researcher Say Stress Reduction May Help Our Bodies Defend Against Illness, Disease." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980107070237.htm (accessed September 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

Man Floats for 31 Hours in Gulf Waters

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) A Texas man is lucky to be alive after he and three others floated for more than a day in the Gulf of Mexico when their boat sank during a fishing trip. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

EU Ministers and Experts Meet to Discuss Ebola Reponse

AFP (Sep. 15, 2014) The European Commission met on Monday to coordinate aid that the EU can offer to African countries affected by the Ebola outbreak. Duration: 00:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Despite The Risks, Antibiotics Still Overprescribed For Kids

Newsy (Sep. 15, 2014) A new study finds children are prescribed antibiotics twice as often as is necessary. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

FDA Eyes Skin Shocks Used at Mass. School

AP (Sep. 15, 2014) The FDA is considering whether to ban devices used by the Judge Rotenberg Educational Center in Canton, Massachusetts, the only place in the country known to use electrical skin shocks as aversive conditioning for aggressive patients. (Sept. 15) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins