Hippokratia 2007; 11 (3): 138-141
N Gelis, E Prokopakis, E Helidonis, G Velegrakis
Mind-body interactions have been well recognized and are extendedly studied in the medical literature. There is evidence that the mind and body communicate with each other in a multidirectional flow of information by means of hormones, neurotransmitters/neuropeptides, cytokines, and semaphorines. There are consistent and convincing reports of links between stress and disease onset and progression, e.g. asthma. Growing evidence in the field of psychoneuroimmunology contributes to the understanding of the mechanisms by which stressful events affect physical health. The psychoneuroendocrine system can influence the immune response and thereby the capacity of the organism to cope with illness, and the immune system can have an impact on neuroendocrine function. Such cross-talk among systems is dependent upon feedback loops working to maintain homeostatic equilibrium. The immune system is capable of producing factors, which serve to integrate immune-neuroendocrine circuits with immunoregulatory and metabolic consequences for the organism. The interaction of the immune, nervous and endocrine system may drive an individual to a well recognized biological hypersensitivity and the creation of allergic symptoms (allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis, etc), followed by distinct behavioural patterns characterized as affective hypersensitivity. Semeiometry is a proper tool for large scale investigation of the psychological profile of patients with allergic rhinitis. Statistical analysis of semeiometry questionnaires processed by Greek adult patients in Crete island during 2005, showed that there is relation between occupation and allergy. Housewives, public services employees and private employees appear to be allergic in significantly higher percentage than others. With semeiometry we can find evidence of the bi-directional immunoendocrine - nervous system interactions in patients with allergic rhinitis.