“Introducción a la Psiconeuroinmunología”

Viernes 19 de mayo de 2017, de 17:15 a 18:15

DRAGO? CÎRNECI (Univ. de Bucarest. Rumanía)

Profesor asociado de la Universidad Spiru Haret de Bucarest – Facultad de Psicología y Ciencias de la Educación

Título de la conferencia:
How our thoughts and emotions control the immunity. Introduction to psycho-neuro-immunology

Doctor en Psicología especializado en Neurociencias cognitivas y del comportamiento. En 2004 ha publicado el primer manual de Neurociencias del Desarrollo Cognitivo de Rumanía. Ha dirigido proyectos científicos con diferentes temas como los mecanismos cerebrales involucrados en adicciones, correlatos neuronales en el procesamiento de la ambigüedad. En los últimos años ha trabajado temas de psiconeuroinmunología (PNI) estudiando la conexión entre la sensibilidad entre el rechazo social y la respuesta inmune. En 2013 ha publicado el nuevo descubrimiento de la conexión entre el aprendizaje y los mecanismos involucrados en la reparación ADN y ha propuesto tareas específicas de aprendizaje que se pueden utilizar como método alternativo de tratamiento de las enfermedades neurodegenerativas.

Síntesis: How our thoughts and emotions control the immunity
Introduction to psycho-neuro-immunology

Traditionally the brain has been seen as being isolated by the immune mechanisms due to the blood-brain barrier. However, over the last 20 years became obvious that immune system plays a critical role in modulation of learning, memory and neural plasticity. Under normal conditions immune mechanisms are activated by the environmental stimuli and participate in the regulation of neural circuit remodeling through interactions between glia, peripheric immune system cells, neurons and neural precursor cells. These beneficial effects of the immune system are mediated by complex interactions among brain cells with immune functions (glial cells), peripheral immune cells (lymphocytes) and neurons. These interactions involve the responsiveness of non-neuronal cells to classical neurotransmitters and hormones, as well as the secretion and responsiveness of neurons and glia to low levels of inflammatory molecules, such as cytokines.
Threats to social connection seem to tap into the same neural and physiological “alarm system” that responds to other critical survival threats, such as the threat or experience of physical harm. Studies have shown that critical social evaluation and social rejection positively correlate with higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines and this pattern seems to represent a stable trait that mediates inflammatory response to social stress. Psychological trauma, especially during the childhood can activates the stress response of brain cells, chronic inflammation and increases of the risk to develop several mental diseases. Various studies found that chronic stress, especially during early childhood, triggers what is called neuroprogression. Neuroprogression consists in cumulative restructuring of nervous system which mediates appearance and persistence of the mental illness., later in life. People who have experienced traumatic events between 1,5 and 8 years old at 10-15 years old present higher levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines that correlate with depressive symptoms. This process is caused by dysregulation in inflammatory molecules, growth factors, oxidative stress and energy of the cells. Consecutively, these dysregulations lead to regression of dendrites and loss of dendritic spines in various brain areas, anatomical alterations which are accompanied by deficits in synaptic plasticity and learning. Most of the mental disorders have been associated with dysregulation of the brain’s immune system. Depression, schyzophrenia, authism, and Alzheimer’s disease are all caracterized by abnormalities in regulation of inflammmatory molecules, measured both in the brain and peripheric blood system. High levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines have been reported in early stages of bipolar disorders, while patients with major depressive disorder presents high oxidative stress level and high levels of pro-inflammatory cytokines. Even pessimism as a personality trait is associated with higher concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines.
Immune analysis allows an early screening of people presenting an increased risk of developing stress related disorders and affective disorders or are in an early stage of these. The next step could be the intervention through specific techniques, life style changes, and parenting style, on the neuroprotective mechanisms that can increases cells’ resilience, maintains synaptic plasticity and facilitates psychological coping, given that plasticity and cell resilience are necessary to the treatment efficacy of some mental disorders. It is known that exposure to controllable stressors during childhood and adolescence is essential to develop coping strategies. These strategies should consist in optimism, developing self-control, acceptance of responsibilities, problem solving, seeking social support and reinterpretation of events in a positive way. Also, recollection of positive autobiographical memories, empathy and social support in general, but also food and physical exercise all play critical role in prevention of stress related disoders modulating the neuro-immune response.