Immune system = a complex interaction of a range of physical processes. It protects the body from 'foreign invaders' (illness).
B Cells - protect healthy cells (think bodyguard) T Cells - destroy unhealthy cells (think terminators)
When cortisol is released, it starts to affect your immune system
Cortisol damages T cells and slows down the production of B cells.
So, when the body releases cortisol in it's responsse to stress, it's actually damaging the immune system. This is why when you are stressed, many people become ill - their immune system has been surpressed by the cortisol and isn't working as well as it should; therefore you are more likely to pick up an illness/be less likely to fight off infection.
RILEY - Experiment using mice. To create stress in the mice, he put them on a turn table rotating at 45rpm and then measured their lymphocyte count over a 5 hour period and found a marked decrease. This proves that stress suppresses the immune system.
KIECOLT-GLASER ET AL
Aim - to demonstrate the direct effects of stress on the immune system by looking at how quickly wounds heal.
Procedure: A matched pairs experiment was used. Participants were recruited using advertisements in newspapers (VOLUNTEER SAMPLE). 13 woment aged 47-82 years were warers and placed in the experimental group. A further 13 were matched with carers on the basis of age and…