Immune Activation And Sickness Behavior

Although the majority of research in behavioral neuroimmunology has examined the impact of stress and central nervous system (CNS) activation on immune activity, it has become apparent that the immune system can also directly communicate with the CNS and thus alter behavior. Therefore, it is necessary to consider the relationship between the immune system and the brain as bidirectional. Furthermore, recent research has suggested that the immune system might often initiate this bidirectional communication by acting as a sensory organ, informing the brain of infection, and triggering behaviors designed to combat the infection (Fig. 2).

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