Abstract of the chapter


Daniel de la Serna & Sari M. Arponen

Links between the central nervous system and the immune system have been described for the last 40 years. These psycho-neuro-endocrine pathways have been an evolutionary key regulatory mechanism for an optimal response in order to survive or reproduce through immune responses or behaviors. Today chronic peripheral inflammation is related also with chronic stress and supposes a main risk factor for current chronic non-communicable diseases. The chronic activity of the immune system is associated with a neuroendocrine disruption between brain and the immune system itself. This situation might have deleterious effects over the metabolic state inducing damage at different levels. The field of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has focused on to describe these pathways and also to identify the relationship between risk factors and mechanisms of action that could be responsible for these insults.  

PNI has reached a firm knowledge inviting to the development of clinical approaches in order to restore these physiological pathways through lifestyle interventions among others. For example, hormetic interventions based on challenging the body to mild known stress factors intermittently, in order to improve health.