How Your Immune System Helps Direct Your Social Interactions

From Dr. Mercola:

That your immune system is your first line of defense against disease is nothing new. Interestingly, recent research suggests your immune system may also play a role in your social interactions.1 In fact, researchers now believe your immune system may actually be a controlling factor in your behavior.

In the referenced study, by blocking a specific immune molecule in the brain of a mouse, the mouse brain displayed hyperactivity, resulting in abnormal, asocial behavior. When they restored the molecule, both problems disappeared.

Is Your Personality Dictated by Your Immune System?

Scientists believe this discovery may have “enormous implications for neurological conditions such as autism and schizophrenia.”2

According to Jonathan Kipnis, Ph.D., chairman of the Department of Neuroscience and director of the Center for Brain Immunology at the University of Virginia (UVA) School of Medicine:

“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as sign of a pathology.

And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behavior traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens.

It’s crazy, but maybe we are just multicellular battlefields for two ancient forces: pathogens and the immune system. Part of our personality may actually be dictated by the immune system.”

Your Brain, Gut and Immune System Are All Linked

Kipnis was part of the team that, just last year, discovered there’s a direct link between the brain and immune system.

Similar to blood vessels that carry blood throughout your body, previously unknown lymphatic vessels carry immune cells throughout your body, including your brain, which was previously thought to be impossible.

It’s becoming increasingly clear that your brain, immune system and your gut microbes are intricately linked, affecting …

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