Stress And The Immune System Essay

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Stress And The Immune System

The immune system is a very important part of our bodily functions as its main function is to protect the body against millions of antigens, which attack our cells and try to reproduce viruses and diseases. The immune system can protect the body in three different ways, in which are:

1. It creates a barrier that prevents the antigens from initially entering the body.

2. If the antigens do manage to enter the body, then your immune system will try to detect the virus and abolish it before it begins to spread.

3. If the virus does reproduce and begins to cause problems, your immune system is then responsible for eliminating it.
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They have also found that there are strong links between prolonged stress and disorders, mentally and physically. Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1995 also carried out research into the relationship between Stress and the Immune System.

Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1995 =========================

Aims ----

The aim of this experiment was to determine the effects of stress on the immune system. This was determined by analysing how quickly a person’s wound healed. It naturally is clearly difficult to create stress within a group of participants to examine how stress does affect your immune system. Hence Kiecolt-Glaser required seeking a group of participants in which naturally have high levels of chronic stress.


Kiecolt-Glaser et al 1995 used a group of women who were caring for relatives suffering from a rare disease called senile dementia. This responsibility has been known to be associated with chronic stress.

Kiecolt-Glaser et al used a matched participants design, which is where the participants are matched together based on for example age and height. A volunteer sample was used as the participants were recruited using advertisements.

There were thirteen women aged between forty-seven and eighty one year and who were all carers and so they were placed in the experimental group. An additional thirteen
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