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, 17 (1), 3-12

Critical Periods of Special Health Relevance for Psychoneuroimmunology

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Critical Periods of Special Health Relevance for Psychoneuroimmunology

Christopher L Coe et al. Brain Behav Immun.

Abstract

Although it is possible to demonstrate an influence of psychological factors on immune responses at any point in the life span, there are two periods when the effects may have greater implications for health. Our research with nonhuman primates indicates that the immaturity of a young infant's immune responses makes it more vulnerable, especially during the fetal and neonatal stages. Similarly, the natural, age-related process of immune senescence creates a second period of increased risk in elderly animals and people. This review summarizes findings from a 20-year research program, which support the conclusion that we should give special attention to the age of the host in psychoneuroimmunology studies.

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