Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Natural Killer Cells Need A Good Night's Sleep

Date:
January 26, 1998
Source:
Center For The Advancement Of Health
Summary:
Disrupted sleep may be weakening the immune systems of elderly widows and widowers, suggest new findings by researchers at the UPMC Health Systems (UPMC) Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh.

Disrupted sleep may be weakening the immune systems of elderly widows and widowers, new findings suggest.

Related Articles


Researchers at the UPMC Health Systems (UPMC) Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh studied 29 patients aged 40 to 78 who were seeking treatment for bereavement-related depression.

Each patient spent three nights in a sleep lab as part of a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of the treatment of bereavement-related depression between 1995 and 1996. None of the subjects had any infectious illnesses at the time and all were experiencing their first lifetime episode of major depression.

Analysis of their blood samples showed that those whose sleep had been disrupted had decreased levels of natural killer cells (NKCs), which take their name from the way they help destroy illness-causing cells. A decreased NKC count indicates a weakened immune system and a body more vulnerable to illness.

The study, published in the January-February issue of Psychosomatic Medicine, "provides the first direct evidence that...sleep disruptions are associated with the stress-immune relationship in humans," the researchers write. "Stress-related intrusive thoughts and avoidance behaviors were associated with greater time spent awake during the first sleep cycle which, in turn, was associated with lower numbers of circulating NKCs."

The findings prove that maintaining good sleep is important for the elderly to maintain health, according to the primary author, Martica Hall, PhD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical College's Department of Psychiatry. She said the findings show the importance of developing interventions that reduce illnesses caused by stress-related sleep disruptions.

Although sleep disruptions associated with bereavement or other stressful life events may play an important role in illness susceptibility, Hall said, it is not yet known whether doctors can improve patients' health by improving their sleep.

"We know that it is better to treat the underlying problem, bereavement-related depression, than to simply treat the symptom, disturbed sleep, with a sleeping pill," Hall said. "The potential health benefits of treating bereavement-related depression, including its sleep disruptions, is one of the research avenues we are now following."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Center For The Advancement Of Health. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Natural Killer Cells Need A Good Night's Sleep." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 26 January 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980126060431.htm>.
Center For The Advancement Of Health. (1998, January 26). Natural Killer Cells Need A Good Night's Sleep. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 26, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980126060431.htm
Center For The Advancement Of Health. "Natural Killer Cells Need A Good Night's Sleep." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/01/980126060431.htm (accessed October 26, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Toxin-Packed Stem Cells Used To Kill Cancer

Newsy (Oct. 25, 2014) — A Harvard University Research Team created genetically engineered stem cells that are able to kill cancer cells, while leaving other cells unharmed. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

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