Stress, Chronic Diseases, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Stress, Depression, Inflammation, and Psychoneuroimmunology

Patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) often have psychiatric problems including cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, and depression (Bratek et al., 2015).

A recent study investigated the roles of psychiatric symptoms including anxiety, depression, and cognitive dysfunctions among patients with asthma and COPD (Bratek et al., 2015). The researchers observed that 33% of the COPD patients and 29% asthma patients had depression.

In addition, 42 % of the COPD patients and 41% of the asthma patients had elevated anxiety levels (Bratek et al., 2015). The study also found that the emotional and cognitive conditions were associated with tobacco smoke exposure and airway obstruction.

The study confirmed that those with mild to moderate asthma and COPD often have elevated levels of anxiety, depression, and cognitive disorders (Bratek et al., 2015). Environmental factors such as tobacco smoke and airflow obstruction may also be relevant.

Further studies in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) are needed to measure the influences on the brain and immune systems more accurately. Such input would enable better preventive and therapeutic strategies.


Bratek A, Zawada K, Beil-Gawełczyk J, Beil S, Sozańska E, Krysta K, Barczyk A, Krupka-Matuszczyk I, Pierzchała W. Depressiveness, symptoms of anxiety and cognitive dysfunctions in patients with asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD): possible associations with inflammation markers: a pilot study. J Neural Transm (Vienna). 2015 Aug;122 Suppl 1:S83-91. doi: 10.1007/s00702-014-1171-9.

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