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Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2017 Mar;19(1):9-19.

Affective immunology: where emotions and the immune response converge.

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William Harvey Research Institute, Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.


in English, French, Spanish

Affect and emotion are defined as "an essential part of the process of an organism's interaction with stimuli." Similar to affect, the immune response is the "tool" the body uses to interact with the external environment. Thanks to the emotional and immunological response, we learn to distinguish between what we like and what we do not like, to counteract a broad range of challenges, and to adjust to the environment we are living in. Recent compelling evidence has shown that the emotional and immunological systems share more than a similarity of functions. This review article will discuss the crosstalk between these two systems and the need for a new scientific area of research called affective immunology. Research in this field will allow a better understanding and appreciation of the immunological basis of mental disorders and the emotional side of immune diseases.


emotion; health and disease; immune disorder; immunity; inflammation; mental disorder; personality type; well-being

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