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Seeing family for the holidays? Scientists discover how the stress might kill you
Date:11/30/2009

d prevent autoimmune disorders from developing. To do this, they injected 6-OHDA or a saline solution into mice before subjecting them and a control group to conditions known to cause an autoimmune disease similar to multiple sclerosis in humans. Unlike the control group, the mice treated with 6-OHDA did not develop the autoimmune disease, showing that not only can the sympathetic nervous system negatively affect the immune system, but it also shows how it might be possible to prevent or stop autoimmune disorders.

"Ever since Hans Seyle's groundbreaking work on stress, scientists have been trying to understand why stressful situations often exacerbate autoimmune diseases and cause re-emergence of latent infections," said John Wherry, Ph.D., Deputy Editor of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. "In true fight or flight situations, stress can be a lifesaver, but understanding how the neurological response to the stress of everyday events such as seeing your family around the holidays impacts immune responses should provide opportunities for new therapies."


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Contact: Cody Mooneyhan
cmooneyhan@faseb.org
301-634-7104
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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