Research : Sponsored Studies : Infectious Diseases & HIV / AIDS
Infectious Disease: Psychological and Biological Mechanisms of Disease Risk

Here is what Cousins Center investigators have found:

Psychological risk factors can increase autonomic activation and lead to increases of viral load in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
Cole SW, Kemeny ME, Fahey JL, Zack JA and Naliboff BD. Psychological risk factors for HIV pathogenesis: Mediation by the autonomic nervous system. Biol Psychiatry. 2003 Dec 15;54(12):1444-56.
Cole SW , Naliboff BD, Kemeny ME, Griswold M, Fahey JL, & Zack JA. Impaired response to HAART in HIV-infected individuals with high autonomic nervous system activity . PNAS USA, 98, 12695-12700, 2001.
Brownley, K.A., Milanovich, J.R., Motivala, S.J., Schneiderman, N., Fillion, L., Graves, J.A., Klimas, N., Fletcher, M.A. & Hurwitz, B.E. Autonomic and cardiovascular function in HIV spectrum disease: early indications of cardiac pathophysiology. Clinical Autonomic Research, 11(5):319-26, 2001.
HIV-related processes disrupt CNS and immune system communication
Motivala SJ, Hurwitz BE, Llabre MM, Klimas NG, Fletcher MA, Antoni MH, LeBlanc WG, Schneiderman N. Psychological distress is associated with decreased memory helper T-cell and B-cell counts in pre-AIDS HIV seropositive men and women but only in those with low viral load . Psychosomatic Medicine 65(5): 627-635, 2003.
Depression lowers immunity to herpes zoster or shingles
Irwin M, Costlow C, Williams H, Artin KH, Chan CY, Stinson D, Levin MJ, Hayward AR,Oxman M: Cellular immunity to varicella-zoster virus in patients with major depression. J Infectious Diseases 178 (Suppl 1):S104-108, 1998.
The practice of Tai Chi Chih, a moving meditation, improves health functioning and immunity in older adults with herpes zoster
Irwin MR , PikeJL, Cole, JS & Oxman M. Effects of a behavioral intervention, Tai Chi Chih, on Varicella zoster virus specific immunity and health functioning in older and at-risk adults. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65:824-830, 2003.
Post-operative infections are more likely to occur in alcoholics with abnormal cytokine expression.
Sanders M, Irwin M, Sinha P, Naumann E, Kern H, Kox WJ, Spies CD: Suppresion of Interleukin-6 to interluekin-10 ratio in chronic alcoholics: association with postoperative infections. Intensive Care Med 28:285-292, 2002. (8 pages)
See what we are doing now. Here are some of our ongoing studies:
CD8 T Cell Replicative Senescence and HIV Disease
PI: Rita Effros Funded by NIAID
Immune Dysfunction and AIDS-associated B Cell Lymphoma
PI: Otoniel Martinez-Maza Funded by NCI
Molecular Epidemiology of AIDS-associated Lymphoma
PI: Otoniel Martinez-Maza Funded by NCI
Prediagnostic Markers of Immune Activation and Viral Infection and Risk of NHL
PI: Otoniel Martinez-Maza Funded by NCI
Study Participation
Sponsored Studies
Seed Grant Program
Core Laboratories