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3.13: The Effect of Stress on the Immune System

  • Page ID
    11680
  • Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is defined as the examination of the interactions among psychological, behavioral, and social factors with immunological and neuroendocrine outcomes. It is now well established that psychological factors, especially chronic stress, can lead to impairments in immune system functioning in both the young and older adults. In several studies of older adults, those who are providing care for a relative with dementia report high levels of stress and exhibit significant impairments in immune system functioning when compared with noncaregivers. Stress-induced changes in the immune system may affect a number of outcomes, including slowing the wound healing process and increasing susceptibility to infections.