Psychoneuroimmunology and aging

Luisa Guidi, Augusto Tricerri, Daniela Frasca, Marcello Vangeli, Andrea R. Errani, Carlo Bartoloni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: The senescence of the immune system is a complex phenomenon, characterized by impairment of several lymphocyte activities and generally considered a state of immune dysregulation. Aging is a condition associated with many social changes likely to induce psychological stress, which is often perceived as uncontrollable and can lead, in some cases, to clinically relevant depression. In the recent years a growing interest has been raised for the study of bidirectional interactions between the central nervous system and the immunological network (psychoneuroimmunology). Objective and Methods: We analyzed the possibility that chronic psychological distress and depression could worsen some immune functions in the aged. We postulate the neuroendocrine mechanisms of psychoimmune interaction, analyzing both the human and animal studies focused on aging. Results: The data from the literature reviewed suggest a significant impact of affective disorders on immune functions in the elderly subjects. This psychoimmune imbalance appears particularly important when the studies are carried out in otherwise healthy aged people. Conclusions: Here we reviewed the relationships between psychological stress and depression and immunological functions, with particular regard to those aspects pertinent to the aging process. The clinical relevance of these interactions remains to be elucidated, but the high frequency in the aged of autoimmune, infectious, and neoplastic diseases suggests to focus on the psychoneuroimmune interactions in the old age. We also propose some outlines for future studies concerning psychoneuroimmunology and aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-261
Number of pages15
JournalGerontology
Volume44
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 10 1998
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Psychoneuroimmunology
Depression
Psychological Stress
Social Change
Mood Disorders
Communicable Diseases
Immune System
Central Nervous System
Lymphocytes
Psychology

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Neuroimmunomodulation
  • Psychoneuroendocrinology
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging

Cite this

Guidi, L., Tricerri, A., Frasca, D., Vangeli, M., Errani, A. R., & Bartoloni, C. (1998). Psychoneuroimmunology and aging. Gerontology, 44(5), 247-261.

Psychoneuroimmunology and aging. / Guidi, Luisa; Tricerri, Augusto; Frasca, Daniela; Vangeli, Marcello; Errani, Andrea R.; Bartoloni, Carlo.

In: Gerontology, Vol. 44, No. 5, 10.09.1998, p. 247-261.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Guidi, L, Tricerri, A, Frasca, D, Vangeli, M, Errani, AR & Bartoloni, C 1998, 'Psychoneuroimmunology and aging', Gerontology, vol. 44, no. 5, pp. 247-261.
Guidi L, Tricerri A, Frasca D, Vangeli M, Errani AR, Bartoloni C. Psychoneuroimmunology and aging. Gerontology. 1998 Sep 10;44(5):247-261.
Guidi, Luisa ; Tricerri, Augusto ; Frasca, Daniela ; Vangeli, Marcello ; Errani, Andrea R. ; Bartoloni, Carlo. / Psychoneuroimmunology and aging. In: Gerontology. 1998 ; Vol. 44, No. 5. pp. 247-261.
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