Three factors in recent medical research and treatment (advances in the field of psychoneuroimmunology, epidemiological evidence regarding important interaction between psychosocial factors and development of disease, and the recognition of the importance of patient education for self-management of asthma) have led clinicians and researchers to reconsider the role of psychosocial stress in asthma. There are many reports suggesting that stressful life events, family problems and a behavior pattern that increases psychological conflict may influence the development or relapse of asthma and influence its clinical course. Depression is known as one of the risk factors of fatal asthmatic attack. In laboratory studies, about 20% of asthmatics were considered reactors who showed an airway change after exposure to emotional stress. Studies regarding the pathway of stress effect on allergy and asthma are reviewed and discussed from the standpoint of psychoneuroimmunology; for example, the enhancement of IgE production and increased susceptibility to respiratory infection by stress, conditioned anaphylaxis and nerve/mast cell interaction, the effect of stress on various bronchial responses and the inhibition of the immediate and late asthmatic response by anterior hypothalamic lesioning.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy