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:9/25/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Order Custom Tee Shirts Online , Welldonedesigns.com ... to be concerned about garment selection, expensive graphic designers, substandard printing, and shipping. ... and shipped within 5-10 days. And every garment we ship is shipped ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... How many things are on your average ... phrase “more than any sane human could possibly complete,” then you’re all too familiar ... are desperately trying to be everything to everybody all the time. , Self-proclaimed overly ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... Grants Pass, OR (PRWEB) , ... September 25, ... ... good idea. Kleyne, host of the nationally syndicated The Sharon Kleyne Hour Power ... Tears® EyeMist®, would like us to shift our Olympic focus from a once-every-four-years ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... services supporting clinical research, today announces that 30 of its domain experts ... drug development lifecycle at upcoming industry conferences and webinars. Drawing on broad ...
(Date:9/25/2017)... ... September 25, 2017 , ... ... to announce the next generation for LASIK in Manhattan with Contoura Vision, the ... technologically advanced laser systems available in the United States to correct nearsightedness and ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/12/2017)... 12, 2017   EcoVadis , the leading platform for environmental, social ... annual edition of its Global CSR Risk and Performance Index. The report ... based on Scorecard Ratings that analyzed nearly 800,000 data points across the ... ... ...
(Date:9/9/2017)... Lilly and Company (NYSE: LLY ) will ... an investigational, oral, first-in-class molecule for the acute treatment ... placebo in the Phase 3 SPARTAN study. Detailed results ... the International Headache Society (IHC) in Vancouver ... lasmiditan,s potential to reduce pain and provide freedom from ...
(Date:9/7/2017)... , Sept. 7, 2017  Zimmer Biomet Holdings, Inc. ... healthcare, today announced that it will be participating in ... Conference at the Grand Hyatt hotel in New York.  ... at 11:40 a.m. Eastern Time. A live ... Biomet,s Investor Relations website at http://investor.zimmerbiomet.com .   ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: