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Unformatted text preview: Behavioral Science 1. The immune system is not an autonomous system. This discovery was confirmed by demonstrating that the immune system can be altered by which of the following? A. Stress B. Suppressed emotions C. Diet D. Conditioning E. Relaxation The answer is: D R. Ader and N. Cohen discovered that the immune system could be conditioned by neutral taste stimuli. The immunosuppressive drug cyclophosphamide (CY) was used in a taste aversion study to cause nausea and vomiting. They found that a single pairing of saccharin-flavored water with CY and a subsequent exposure to saccharin water alone produced the desired conditioning, as well as immunosuppression. Follow-up studies reconfirmed that immune system responses can be conditioned to neutral stimuli in both animals and humans. Immunologists previously had assumed that the immune system was autonomous. Ader and Cohen's discovery opened up a new area of research psychoneuroimmunology. Studies in this area have demonstrated that many immune components can be altered by behavioral factors such as stress, depression, isolation, relaxation, and bereavement. All of the options listed in the question have some effect on the immune system, but the ability to modify the immune system by conditioning was an outstanding discovery that greatly advanced the entire field of immunology. 2. For almost three years, a 50-year-old woman has been caring for her mother who is chronically ill with Alzheimer's disease. A recent immunologic assessment of the caregiver daughter found that her A. Cellular immune system control of latent viruses was poor B. Percentage of T lymphocytes was high C. Helper/suppressor ratio was higher than normal D. Circulating neutrophils were decreased in number E. Natural killer The answer is: A J. K. Kiecolt-Glaser and B. A. Esterling both reported studies of the changes that occur in the immune systems of caregivers who have been under the constant stress of caring for a family member with Alzheimer's disease for many months (average 33 months). A battery of immunologic assessments found that the caregivers had suppressed immune systems; cellular immune system control of latent viruses was poorer than that of a matched control group, the percentage of T lymphocytes was lower, and the helper/suppressor ratio was smaller. The data suggest that chronic and, at times, severe stress can cause persistent changes in immunity. Furthermore, these changes can occur in several components of immunosurveillance. In a study of residents living near Three Mile Island, Baum reported that even six years after the nuclear accident, long-term stress resulted in negative changes in the residents' immune systems. This finding was indicated by poor cellular control over latent viruses, higher numbers of circulating neutrophils, and lower numbers of B cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes in the residents....
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- Summer '07