Navigation Links
Merely seeing disease symptoms may promote aggressive immune response
Date:4/27/2010

Just seeing someone who looks sick is enough to make your immune system work harder, according to a new study in which volunteers looked at pictures of sick people. This may help fight off pathogens, says Mark Schaller from the University of British Columbia who conducted the research. "It seems like it's probably good for the immune system to be responding especially aggressively at times when it looks like you are likely to be coming into contact with something that might make you sick."

Previous research has found that, when people see someone who looks sick, they have a psychological response they feel disgusted and want to stay away. Schaller, Gregory E. Miller, Will M. Gervais, Sarah Yager, and Edith Chen, all at the University of British Columbia, wanted to go one step farther, to see if looking at sick people might also affect how the immune system itself works.

For this study, published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, volunteers were shown two 10-minute slide shows on two different days. The first one was a neutral slide show, with pictures of furniture. The second was one of two options: a disease slide show, showing people with pox, blowing their noses, sneezing, and so forth, or a slide show of guns. Before and after the slide shows, a blood sample was taken from each volunteer. A little bacteria was added to the blood sample, then the researchers measured the strength of the immune response (specifically, how much of a substance called interleukin-6 the immune cells produced).

People who had looked at the pictures of people sneezing, coughing, or otherwise showing signs of disease had a stronger immune response than people who had looked at pictures of men aiming guns at them. This kind of response to the sight of diseased people may have been evolutionarily adaptive, according to Schaller and his colleagues. Although an aggressive immune response has infection-fighting benefits, it's also costly - it consumes energy and can be temporarily debilitating. It may have been adaptive for the immune system to react especially aggressively when additional information indicates that the threat of infection appears high. According to Schaller, "The things we see around us, such as the sight of sick people, can provide that kind of information. And it makes sense for the immune system to respond to it."


'/>"/>

Contact: Catherine Allen-West
cwest@psychologicalscience.org
202-293-9300
Association for Psychological Science
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Seeing Letter F May Lower Test Scores
2. Seeing a diagnosis: How an eye test could aid Alzheimers detection
3. Cancer Center at Harrington to Begin Seeing Patients
4. Anemia tougher to tackle in black children with kidney disease
5. First Minnesota initiative on womens heart disease
6. Understanding causes of cancer and chronic disease: The Canadian Partnership for Tomorrow Project
7. JustGetTested.com Recommends Confidential Blood Testing During Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) Awareness Month (April)
8. Parkinson's Disease Patient's Story Goes Multimedia, Proceeds to Benefit PD Research
9. Biosensor chip enables high-sensitivity protein analysis for disease diagnosis
10. Review Panel Leaves Controversial Lyme Disease Guidelines Unchanged
11. Team finds promising new drug target for Alzheimers disease
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:5/2/2016)... , ... May 02, 2016 , ... ... a residential inpatient rehabilitation center can find some useful information in a new ... in Central Michigan. This video, which can be viewed on the Serenity Recovery ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... Beanfields, PBC, makers of Beanfields Bean and ... at University of Colorado in Boulder to create new advertising campaigns. , Adjunct ... School of Journalism, who selected Beanfields as the brand on which to focus ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... Texas (PRWEB) , ... May 02, 2016 , ... In ... will offer an incentive to people who share their fitness journey on social ... and premium first aid products, will award a $100 product voucher each week during ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... 2016 , ... East Los Angeles dentist , Dr. Ramin Assili, is ... to receive any dental extraction treatment for $40 off the regular price. This promotion ... the lower price, patients can more easily afford extractions to eliminate teeth that are ...
(Date:5/2/2016)... ... ... Dr. Rassouli, dentist in Orange County, CA comments on the ... was published in the “Journal of the American Geriatrics Society,” more than a third ... Alzheimer’s disease. The study found that dental problems may increase the risk of heart ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/28/2016)... , April 28, 2016 Research ... "Global Plastic Surgery Products Market 2016-2020" report to ... ) , The global plastic surgery products ... 9.47% during the period 2016-2020. , ,The growing adoption ... to the growth of the market. Lasers are used ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 2016 Dr. ... und Stephen Schmidt werden ... ArisGlobal®, ein führender Anbieter cloudbasierter Softwarelösungen für ... dass neue Führungskräfte zum Team Sicherheit und ... vielfältige Erfahrungen mitbringen.  Dies wird die Geschäftseinheit ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... 28, 2016 Treato , ... healthcare, announced today that it has been named a ... Vendor in Life Sciences, 2016, Stephen Davies ... report focuses on life-science- oriented analytics, algorithms and smart ... and doctors, confirm medication ingestion, and analyze unstructured information. ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: