Navigation Links
A Healthy Mind Can Help Fight HIV
Date:6/20/2008

Depression, stress could speed AIDS progression, reviews of the data suggest

FRIDAY, June 20 (HealthDay News) -- Stress and depression may make a great difference in the health of people infected with HIV, according to three new reviews of the data on the subject.

Scientists haven't yet proved that personal attitude and mental health directly affect the progress of HIV infection and AIDS. But the research strongly points to a link, said Dr. Gail Ironson, lead author of the one of the reviews.

"We've got enough studies with people followed over time (to show) that it's not a fluke. You can see how consistent the evidence is," said Ironson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Miami.

Researchers have long tried to understand the link between people's emotional lives and the progression of HIV. Many HIV patients have histories of depression, stress and trauma that could potentially affect their physical health.

The reviews examining these issues were published in the June edition of the journal Psychosomatic Medicine.

In her review, Ironson and a co-author looked at a number of studies examining the effect of factors such as social support, personality and spirituality.

"Psychological states do predict whether you're going to stay healthy longer or whether your disease is going to progress faster," Ironson concluded.

According to one measure of the strength of the immune system, depressed people become susceptible to disease at twice the rate of other patients, she said.

Jane Leserman, professor of psychiatry at the University of North Carolina, found similar results in her review of studies between 1990 and July 2007.

Psychological problems can contribute to worsening health in a variety of ways, such as making it less likely that patients will take their medications as directed, Leserman explained. On the other hand, research suggests that "enhancing stress management can have protective effects in terms of the immune system," she said.

It may sound obvious that stress and depression make people sicker. But "people want the proof, and we're providing the evidence," Leserman said. "Without that evidence, I don't think HIV researchers would really take it that seriously."

Another study in the journal suggests that interventions that improve mental health might also boost the immune health of HIV-infected people. Adam Carrico of the University of California, San Francisco, and Michael Antoni, of the University of Miami, reviewed 14 studies on the subject conducted between 1987 and 2007. They write that, "psychological interventions represent a viable adjuvant treatment that can assist patients with improving psychological adjustment and potentially enhancing immune status."

According to Leserman, researchers could definitively link mental issues to physical health by launching what's known as the "gold standard" of research -- a randomized, double-blind study. Hypothetically, researchers could track two randomly chosen groups of HIV patients, some whom are depressed and stressed and others who aren't.

But such a study would require researchers to not let the depressed patients be treated for mental problems, which is ethically and practically not possible. Both Leserman and Ironson believe that it is crucial to boost the health of HIV patients by helping them deal with the mental challenges they face outside of their disease.

"We should not give up on these people," Leserman said. "We should work with them to try to improve their lives."

Ironson put it this way: "I would encourage patients to view the glass as half full instead of half empty. There's scientific evidence that that [good mental health] is related to slower disease progression."

More information

There's more on HIV/AIDS at the Foundation for AIDS Research.



SOURCES: Gail Ironson, M.D., Ph.D., professor of psychology and psychiatry, University of Miami; Jane Leserman, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; June 2008, Psychosomatic Medicine


'/>"/>
Copyright©2008 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Penn study finds pro-death proteins required to regulate healthy immune function
2. UCLA researchers identify markers that may predict diabetes in still-healthy people
3. Air pollution linked to cardiovascular risk indices in healthy young adults
4. Top Tips to Enjoy Healthy Latin Food Without Losing the Taste (Recipe)
5. Finicky Felines Award Four Stars to New Wellness(R) Healthy Indulgence Everyday Entrees
6. Keeping Kids Healthy and Fit: The New York Kids Club Launches a Revolutionary New Fitness Program
7. LifeMasters Provides Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Blood Cholesterol Level
8. On September 7th Local Organizations Partner to Celebrate Healthy Steps
9. September is Healthy Aging Month
10. Children who learn heart healthy eating habits lower heart disease risk
11. FDA: Use the Nutrition Facts Label to Make Healthy Food Choices
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
A Healthy Mind Can Help Fight HIV
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... ... Patients who want to receive cosmetic dentistry procedures such as Invisalign® or ... a consultation, with or without a referral. Dr. Bedich enjoys improving the appearance of ... Dr. Bedich offers a variety of cosmetic dentistry services at his practice that are ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... reproductive tract in which the endometrial lining of the uterus spreads into ... pain. Patients experiencing painful intercourse, painful periods, pelvic pain, or irregular bleeding ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... NY (PRWEB) , ... May 24, 2017 , ... ... the practice is offering holistic pediatric dentistry options for its patients on Long ... of the patient’s entire physical well being, and is one of the biggest ...
(Date:5/24/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Technique, technique, technique – with a dash of common sense. ... training and exercise or simply lifting heavy objects, advises Dr. Kaliq Chang, interventional pain ... Chang says. “Improper technique in lifting anything heavy or an attempt to lift too ...
(Date:5/23/2017)... ... May 23, 2017 , ... Allegheny Health Network ... The Alexis Joy D’Achille Center for Women’s Behavioral Health at West Penn Hospital ... western Pennsylvania for women suffering from pregnancy-related depression. Construction of the Center is ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:5/10/2017)... , May 10, 2017 Global Health Intelligence ... Latin America , published its 2017 ranking of ... is based on extensive data analysis from GHI,s hospitals ... hospitals database for the region. The GHI database covers 86% ... offering more than 130 data points for each institution in ...
(Date:5/9/2017)... , May 9, 2017  Demonstrating its ... board of directors for the Pharmaceutical Research and ... for membership. Biopharmaceutical companies will now have to ... order to be eligible to join PhRMA. ... the board is sending a clear message that ...
(Date:5/6/2017)... Texas , May 5, 2017   Provista , ... with more than 200,000 customers, today announced Jim Cunniff ... a wealth of executive and business experience to Provista, including ... compounding pharmacy in California . He assumed ... "Jim is a great fit for Provista," says ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: