Modulation of cellular immunity in medical students

The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, United States
Journal of Behavioral Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.1). 03/1986; 9(1):5-21. DOI: 10.1007/BF00844640
Source: PubMed


This study assessed the psychosocial modulation of cellular immunity in 34 medical-student volunteers. The first blood sample was obtained 1 month before examinations, and the second on the day of examinations. There were significant declines in the percentage of helper/inducer T-lymphocytes, in the helper/inducer-suppressor/cytotoxic-cell ratio, and in natural killer-cell activity in the blood samples obtained on the day of examinations. Half of the subjects were randomly assigned to a relaxation group which met between sample points; the frequency of relaxation practice was a significant predictor of the percentages of helper/inducer cells in the examination sample. Three biochemical nutritional assays (albumin, transferrin, and total iron-binding protein) were within normal limits on both samples. Data from the Brief Symptom Inventory showed significantly increased global self-rated distress associated with examinations in the no-intervention group, compared to nonsignificant change in the relaxation group. Clinical and theoretical implications are discussed.

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Available from: Julie C Stout, Feb 23, 2015
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    • "As an example, four studies have evaluated the immune effects of hypnosis and relaxation (5,52–54). In two of these studies, medical students were assigned randomly to a hypnotic/relaxation group prior to examination stress (52,53). Both studies found that the frequency of relaxation correlated with an amelioration of stress-induced changes in lymphocyte proliferation, natural killer (NK) cell activity and T-cell subset enumeration, although neither study found significant effects for the intervention due in part to variability in the practice of relaxation. "
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    ABSTRACT: Both the incidence and severity of herpes zoster (HZ) or shingles increase markedly with increasing age in association with a decline in varicella zoster virus (VZV)-specific immunity. Considerable evidence shows that behavioral stressors, prevalent in older adults, correlate with impairments of cellular immunity. Moreover, the presence of depressive symptoms in older adults is associated with declines in VZV-responder cell frequency (VZV-RCF), an immunological marker of shingles risk. In this review, we discuss recent findings that administration of a relaxation response-based intervention, tai chi chih (TCC), results in improvements in health functioning and immunity to VZV in older adults as compared with a control group. TCC is a slow moving meditation consisting of 20 separate standardized movements which can be readily used in elderly and medically compromised individuals. TCC offers standardized training and practice schedules, lending an important advantage over prior relaxation response-based therapies. Focus on older adults at increased risk for HZ and assay of VZV-specific immunity have implications for understanding the impact of behavioral factors and a behavioral intervention on a clinically relevant end-point and on the response of the immune system to infectious pathogens.
    Evidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 01/2005; 1(3):223-232. DOI:10.1093/ecam/neh048 · 1.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Though a convenient stressor, it occurs against a background of academic stressors and peer pressures which as will be seen complicate interpretations of outcome. Kiecolt-Glaser et al. (1986) compared with a control group, the effects of relaxation training on mood and immune function in first year medical students. The IMMUNITY, WELL-BEING AND HEALTH 151 intervention consisted of three weeks of relaxation training involving five group sessions of self - hypnosis , progressive relaxation , autogenic training and imagery exercises ; a menu from which students could self - select in order to practise at home , prior to exams . "
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    ABSTRACT: This review considers psychological interventions involving relaxation and guided imagery targeting immune functions. The review provides evidence of immune control accompanied by reports of enhanced mood and well-being. Three recent investigations of the author and his colleagues with self-hypnosis training incorporating imagery of the immune system are outlined. In two studies, hypnosis buffered the effects of stress on immune functions in medical students at exam time, and the comparison of self-hypnosis with and without immune imagery confirmed advantages to targeted imagery for both immune function and mood, and importantly, fewer winter viral infections. The implications for health were investigated in a third study in patients with virulent and chronic herpes simplex virus-2 HSV-2). Six weeks of training almost halved recurrence, improved mood and reduced levels of clinical depression and anxiety. Immune functions were up-regulated, notably functional natural killer cell activity to HSV-1. Individual differences in hypnotic susceptibility and absorption have typically been found to predict efficacy. New replicable evidence is reviewed of the importance of cognitive activation, a personality difference whose neurophysiological underpinning is consistent with left hemispheric preferential influences over the immune system. Now that the validation of psychological interventions includes advantages for health, this field of enquiry, which has been characterised by modest, small scale, largely preliminary studies, warrants a greater investment in research.
    Stress 07/2002; 5(2):147-63. DOI:10.1080/10253890290027877 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    • "– Recuentos de CD4+, CD8+ y ratio CD4+/CD8+: disminuciones (Glaser et al., 1985; Kiecolt-Glaser et al., 1986; Halvorsen et al., 1987) y aumentos (Dorian et al., 1982). – Porcentajes de monocitos: aumentos (Halvorsen et al., 1987) y no cambios significativos (Matalka et al., 1998). "
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    ABSTRACT: El objetivo de este estudio es analizar la respuesta psicológica e inmune frente a una situación de estrés académico. A trece estudiantes que iban a realizar la prueba de Selectividad se les pasó una batería de tests psicológicos, autoinformes, y se les tomó muestras de sangre para determinar variables inmunológicas, trece días antes del examen y el día previo al mismo. Los resultados muestran un aumento significativo en ansiedad y disminuciones significativas en los recuentos de linfocitos totales, monocitos, linfocitos T CD8+ y células NK, no variando los linfocitos T CD4+ totales pero sí su porcentaje y la ratio CD4/CD8+ que aumentaron. Asimismo encontramos un efecto modulador de la ansiedad-rasgo, al observar diferencias significativas, entre altos y bajos en esta variable, en el nivel de leucocitos, monocitos, neutrófilos y linfocitos CD8+; además, la interacción entre ansiedad-rasgo y la sesión resultó significativa para el porcentaje de linfocitos CD8+ y la ratio CD4/CD8+.
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