About The Society

Research and Communication Priorities

There is increasing scientific interest in the area of brain-immune system interactions and the physiological changes that are induced by activation of the immune system. It is apparent that behavioral and psychological factors can modify the function of the immune system and health. Susceptibility to viral infections, activation of latent viral infections, and relapses/remissions in patients with HIV positive individuals are influenced by interactions between the brain, endocrine, nervous, and immune systems. Stress and other behavioral and psychologic factors may be linked to disease susceptibility and progression through either direct CNS-immune system links or CNS-endocrine-immune system pathways.

Cytokines and their receptors that are expressed in both the immune and central nervous systems provide a critical link between the two systems. Activation of these cytokine receptors regulates a variety of physiological events, ranging from activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to sickness behavior. To understand these factors, collaborations between investigators from different disciplines must have an understanding for each other's fields, methods, and technologies.