Research has demonstrated that the connection between the CNS and the immune system is not unidirectional, as once thought. Rather, evidence suggests that the immune system is able to directly affect the CNS, perhaps most directly shown through the effects of immune activation on sickness behavior. Upon infection, the immune system sends a neural signal of activation to regions of the brain (particularly the hypothalamus) that govern the production of symptoms such as fever and anorexia. The vagus nerve is the most likely pathway through which peripheral immune system activation is relayed to the brain. However, studies of vagotomized animals suggest that secondary pathways exist through which cytokines can affect behavior. Most research has focused on weaker areas of the BBB, such as the OVLT, as the secondary pathway. Research examining the impact of immune activation on behavior is in its infancy and future studies will undoubtedly provide more information concerning the relationship between immunity and sickness behavior and the health implications of immune-mediated behavior change.

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

Conquering Fear In The 21th Century

The Ultimate Guide To Overcoming Fear And Getting Breakthroughs. Fear is without doubt among the strongest and most influential emotional responses we have, and it may act as both a protective and destructive force depending upon the situation.

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