Over the last several decades, increased attention has been given to psychoneuroimmunology investigation of the putative physiological mechanisms underlying mind and body interaction. In addition to presenting novel interdisciplinary evidence, this review discusses psychosomatic disease, stress biomarkers, and recent clinical and basic research into psychoneuroimmunology. When functioning normally, the response of the neuro-endocrine-immune systems to stress results in the maintenance of homeostasis of the organs. However, dysfunction of such physical systems in response to stress may lead to psychosomatic disease. Clinically, several stress biomarkers have been shown to be useful for the measurement of the degree of physical response to stress, including several neurotransmitters, hormones, cytokines, and other materials from the neuro-endocrine-immune systems. A large number of observational studies and clinical trials have clearly shown that chronic, real life stress suppresses immune function and exacerbates autoimmune and allergic disease. We have recently used mouse models of these diseases to show that hyporesponsiveness of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis is critical to such stress-induced exacerbation.
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