Behavioral Science

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Behavioral Science

The immune system is not an autonomous system. This discovery was confirmed by demonstrating that the immune system can be altered by which of the following? A.Stress B. Suppressed emotions C. Diet D. Conditioning E. Relaxation

The answer is: D

R. Ader and N. Cohen discovered that the immune system could be conditioned by neutral taste stimuli. The immunosuppressive drug cyclophosphamide (CY) was used in a taste aversion study to cause nausea and vomiting. They found that a single pairing of saccharin-flavored water with CY and a subsequent exposure to saccharin water alone produced the desired conditioning, as well as immunosuppression. Follow-up studies reconfirmed that immune system responses can be conditioned to neutral stimuli in both animals and humans. Immunologists previously had assumed that the immune system was autonomous. Ader and Cohen's discovery opened up a new area of research—psychoneuroimmunology. Studies in this area have demonstrated that many immune components can be altered by behavioral factors such as stress, depression, isolation, relaxation, and bereavement. All of the options listed in the question have some effect on the immune system, but the ability to modify the immune system by conditioning was an outstanding discovery that greatly advanced the entire field of immunology.

For almost three years, a 50-year-old woman has been caring for her mother who is chronically ill with Alzheimer's disease. A recent immunologic assessment of the caregiver daughter found that her A. Cellular immune system control of latent viruses was poor B. Percentage of T lymphocytes was high C. Helper/suppressor ratio was higher than normal D. Circulating neutrophils were decreased in number E. Natural killer

The answer is: A
J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser and B. A. Esterling both reported studies of the changes that occur in the immune systems of caregivers who have been under the constant stress of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease for many months (average 33 months). A battery of immunologic assessments found that the caregivers had suppressed immune systems; cellular immune system control of latent viruses was poorer than that of a matched control group, the percentage of T lymphocytes was lower, and the helper/suppressor ratio was smaller. The data suggest that chronic and, at times, severe stress can cause persistent changes in immunity. Furthermore, these changes can occur in several components of immunosurveillance. In a study of residents living near Three Mile Island, Baum reported that even six years after the nuclear accident, long-term stress resulted in negative changes in the residents' immune systems. This finding was indicated by poor cellular control over latent viruses, higher numbers of circulating neutrophils, and lower numbers of B cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the residents. Thus, stress has a direct psychophysiologic effect on immunity. Some bodily changes, such as increased levels of cortisol, can actually destroy immune tissue. Stress also can change physiologic systems and may result in increased drug use, smoking, and alcohol use, which can contribute to negative chronic effects on the immune system. There is some evidence that adaptation to stress can occur, but this doesn't appear to happen in more severe cases such as the caretakers of patients with Alzheimer's disease. 3.

A 40-year-old man develops depressed mood, anhedonia, initial and terminal insomnia, loss of appetite, a 10-lb weight loss, and difficulty with sexual arousal. The clinical features of the patient's psychiatric illness suggest dysfunction of which of the following? A. Frontal lobes B. Pituitary C. Hippocampus D. Hypothalamus E. Corpus callosum

The answer is: D

Clinical studies of patients with major depressive disorders indicate that an intrinsic regulatory defect involving the hypothalamus underlies the disorder. It also involves the...
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