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Are allergies created by the mind? New research is suggesting ''Yes''


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There has been research on Pavlovian conditioned immune responses. Rats were made to be allergic to egg albumin (egg protein) through psychological conditioning. To do this, rats were fed egg albumin, while the feeding was paired with a novel stimulus (taste, visual, or audio cue).

After the association was made, when rats were exposed to only the cue (in the absence of egg albumin) their immune systems began producing antibodies specific to the egg albumin. When the rats were fed egg albumin again, they had an allergic reaction. The researchers noted that lesions to the insular cortex (part of the brain) prevented the conditioned immune response, while lesions to the hippocampus did not. They concluded that the insular cortex not only regulates emotions but also immune responses.








For further reading, Google, 'Pavlovian conditioned immune response', 'Pavlovian conditioned antibody response', and 'Insular cortex immune system'. The research is looking pretty promising, and it has a lot of implications for immune system disorders. If it is possible to induce (for example) an allergy via psychological conditioning, perhaps it is also possible to cure one through the same type of conditioning (Pavlovian conditioned immunosupression has also been documented).

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