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Are allergies created by the mind? New research is suggesting ''yes''.

There has been research on Pavlovian conditioned immune responses. Rats were made to be allergic to egg albumin (egg protein) through psychological conditioning. To do this, rats were fed egg albumin, while the feeding was paired with a novel stimulus (taste, visual, or audio cue).

After the association was made, when rats were exposed to only the cue (in the absence of egg albumin) their immune systems began producing antibodies specific to the egg albumin. When the rats were fed egg albumin again, they had an allergic reaction. The researchers noted that lesions to the insular cortex (part of the brain) prevented the conditioned immune response, while lesions to the hippocampus did not. They concluded that the insular cortex not only regulates emotions but also immune responses.

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00033.2018

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34752731/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2866484/

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?

doi=10.1.1.325.6961&rep=rep1&type=pdf

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159198905475

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2004-18383-029

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/physrev.00033.2018

For further reading, Google, 'Pavlovian conditioned immune response', 'Pavlovian conditioned antibody response', and 'Insular cortex immune system'.

The research is looking pretty promising, and it has a lot of implications for immune system disorders. If it is possible to induce (for example) an allergy via psychological conditioning, perhaps it is also possible to cure one through the same type of conditioning (Pavlovian conditioned immunosupression has also been documented).
Original post by Clara1995
There has been research on Pavlovian conditioned immune responses. Rats were made to be allergic to egg albumin (egg protein) through psychological conditioning. To do this, rats were fed egg albumin, while the feeding was paired with a novel stimulus (taste, visual, or audio cue).

After the association was made, when rats were exposed to only the cue (in the absence of egg albumin) their immune systems began producing antibodies specific to the egg albumin. When the rats were fed egg albumin again, they had an allergic reaction. The researchers noted that lesions to the insular cortex (part of the brain) prevented the conditioned immune response, while lesions to the hippocampus did not. They concluded that the insular cortex not only regulates emotions but also immune responses.

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/full/10.1152/physrev.00033.2018

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34752731/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2866484/

https://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?

doi=10.1.1.325.6961&rep=rep1&type=pdf

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0889159198905475

https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2004-18383-029

https://journals.physiology.org/doi/pdf/10.1152/physrev.00033.2018

For further reading, Google, 'Pavlovian conditioned immune response', 'Pavlovian conditioned antibody response', and 'Insular cortex immune system'.

The research is looking pretty promising, and it has a lot of implications for immune system disorders. If it is possible to induce (for example) an allergy via psychological conditioning, perhaps it is also possible to cure one through the same type of conditioning (Pavlovian conditioned immunosupression has also been documented).


Certainly worth a read but as a biologist I had a few comments:
-Unless it was a transgenic mouse we cannot translate findings in mice to humans
-Sensory input may play some role in provoking immune reaction but it cannot be identified as a sole factor
-Insular cortex is responsible for autonomic control e.g., breathing. Allergic reactions trigger histamine release from basophils and mast cells, the histamine cause vasoconstriction and changes to breathing. An allergic reaction may have been provoked in the mice but because they were disabled via damage to insular cortex - they couldn’t respond effectively.
-I suspect in the real albumin exposure the immune system provoked a stronger response so other parts of the brain were used to initiate an allergic reaction
That just shows that you can use Pavlovian conditioning to trigger an allergic reaction. That's an interesting finding, but it doesn't mean all allergies are the product of Pavlovian conditioning. It's still reasonable to assume most allergic reactions are caused by the already well-understood mechanisms involving mast cells and histamine, etc, and don't really involve the brain. So your title suggesting "allergies are created by the mind" is pretty misleading.
Reply 3
Original post by anosmianAcrimony
That just shows that you can use Pavlovian conditioning to trigger an allergic reaction. That's an interesting finding, but it doesn't mean all allergies are the product of Pavlovian conditioning. It's still reasonable to assume most allergic reactions are caused by the already well-understood mechanisms involving mast cells and histamine, etc, and don't really involve the brain. So your title suggesting "allergies are created by the mind" is pretty misleading.


Since the brain and immune system are so interconnected, I am suggesting it could be possible to cure allergies through the same type of Pavlovian Conditioning.
Oh no, this thread title is giving me major vibes of Mary Baker Eddy and her ideas that disease & injuries were all unreal, a delusion of the worldly.
But mam (malicious animal magnetism via unspoken human thoughts) could cause other people's deaths, break bones by accident and wreak years of bad luck upon their enemies.
Reply 5
An interesting theory but not one id be i9nclined to put any stock in without a **** tonne more research. After all, a handful of studies is statistically irrelevant in terms of proving something beyond a reasonable degree of doubt.
Yes I think are right at some extend .
It's been known for a long time that the immune system plays part in autoimmune diseases such as celiac disease and dairy allergies
However saying that allergies are created by the mind is very misleading, there has been little research and non in humans
Sure people who think they have allergies get some sensation when eating that food even if they're not allergic I've been in full anaphalixasis of a food I didn't know I was allergic to so that cant just be 'in my mind' as I got a collapsed trachea and I have a friend who has celiac but they didn't know until they were 15 so they wouldn't have just created it out of their mind
This is a very misleading title and honestly for people who have had anaphylaxis and serious allergies can be very unsettling

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