Saturday, August 11, 2012

Understanding The Brain And Immune System Connection

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By Saleem Rana

Monday, August 6th, 2012

Interview by Allen Cardoza and Dr. Melody Foxx

Neurobiologist Paul Patterson, PhD, author of a groundbreaking, research-based book, "Infectious Behavior," spoke about the biochemical relationship between the mind and the immune system on the Answers for the Family radio show hosted by Allen Cardoza and Dr Melody Foxx.

The findings revealed in the book, "Infectious Behavior" shows how the relationship between the brain and the immune system can give us clues about the physiological basis of autism, schizophrenia, depression, and other mental illnesses.

About Dr Paul Patterson

Dr. Patterson is a professor of biological systems at the California Institute of Technology, as well as a professor of neurological surgical at the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine.

Research Work

Making use of mouse models, Dr. Patterson and his research team investigate the results of maternal infection during pregnancy, observing precisely how infections can affect the health and wellness and psychological development of the future child. Researchers use mouse models to create neuropathology conditions in lab mice such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington's, Schizophrenia and autism.

Experts are now uncovering a growing body of evidence to suggest that there is a very strong correlation between brain-immune system communication and mental illness. Studying the interactions in between the brain and the immune system may enable research workers to extrapolate on the neuropathology and behavioral problems found in human beings. Investigating neuroimmune interactions in mice can generate data regarding abnormal proteins, blood cells, and brain waves in human beings. The mother's inflammatory reaction may affect fetal mind development producing the birth of a child with autism or a predisposition towards Schizophrenia in the course of early adult years.


During the course of the interview, Dr Patterson offered an outline about how the mind manages the immune system and how researchers had discovered the prenatal sources of conditions like autism, schizophrenia and depression. Besides discussing his research work, Dr. Patterson tackled popular subject matters associated with neuroimmunology like antibacterial measures taken during pregnancy, the controversy over the efficacy of vaccines, and the role of fun and humor in reinforcing the immune system.

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