Description of the Strategy

Historically, the immune system was thought to operate autonomously, without input from other bodily systems. However, interdisciplinary research in the 1980s began to suggest interactions between the nervous and immune systems, thus leading to the development of the field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI). Research in the area of PNI examines the interrelationships among brain, behavior, and immunity. The finding that immune system activity could be altered by external influences led to studies demonstrating that both increases and decreases in immune activity could be conditioned. Subsequent research has begun to examine the extent to which interventions could be developed to positively impact immune system activity in various disease populations such as cancer and HIV patients. Furthermore, the immune system has been ...

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