The Inflammatory Response: Understanding inflammation and the immune system in states of mind
With Antony Haynes and Dr Elisabeth Philipps (recorded Saturday 1 February 2020)
Many of us, including our psychotherapy clients, may suffer from unexplained symptoms of debilitation, and of depression, without a clear context. In fact, general practitioners say that about 25 per cent of their consultations are with patients for whom they cannot give a medical diagnosis or treatment and this can be a key issue in psychotherapy.READ MORE...
This day will talk us through the latest findings about the biofeedback loops between inflammation, the immune system and states of mind. The role of underlying low-grade inflammation is a rapidly growing and fascinating area of research that might have great relevance to psychotherapy practice.
Our two expert presenters will describe some of the biofeedback loops between stress, inflammation and the immune system. We will discover how inflammation stemming from persistent pathogens may influence the development of mood disorders to a significant extent – actually to a greater extent than inflammation resulting from acute infections. Researchers have found that recurring negative moods are associated with elevated levels of inflammatory biomarkers. These pro-inflammatory chemicals can give rise to physical, cognitive and behavioural changes, typically fatigue and cognitive impairments. They are known to be raised in people who suffer from depression compared to non-depressed ones (Happakoski et al., 2015) and can predict the severity of depressive symptoms.
This seminar will be packed with information about the biology that underpins these insights, as well as practical examples of safe lifestyle interventions that might support psychotherapeutic approaches. Our recommended advance reading is Edward Bullmore’s book, The Inflamed Mind (Short Books, 2019), which explains how and why mental disorders can have their roots in the immune system and how mind, brain and body work together.
Registration and Coffee
Elisabeth Philipps and Antony Haynes
Mood States: the Relevance of Inflammation, Oxidation and Immune Related Activity
In this introduction to the science of the relationship between inflammation and mood, we will explore the relationship between alterations in these factors and emotional health. This will include an introduction to the gut-brain axis and its potential role in mediating inappropriate inflammation and its impact on mental health. Our speakers will elaborate which foods have an inflammatory/ anti-inflammatory effect, and why; how probiotics may reduce inflammation and what strains to consider, and lifestyle changes that enhance the management of unwanted inflammation.
Looking Deeper at Inflammation: Neurotransmitters, Hormones and Sleep
This presentation will introduce the role of neurotransmitters and hormones, the impact of stress and how inflammation disrupts healthy signalling. A neurotransmitter is a chemical messenger that carries, boosts, and balances signals between neurons and other cells in the body. These can affect a wide variety of both physical and psychological functions including heart rate, sleep, appetite, mood, mental health and fear. The talk will consider the importance of sleep in the management of inflammation, oxidation and immune activation within the body, and other ways in which stress management techniques, such as diet, can reduce inflammatory effect.
Lunch – a lunch of anti-inflammatory foods will be provided
Exploring Neuroscience from a Lifestyle Perspective
There is accumulating evidence that dysfunction of glutamatergic neurotransmission, particularly via N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors, is involved in the pathophysiology of major depressive disorder (MDD) and other mood disorders. Here we will learn about the importance of the NMDA Receptor and simple, practical lifestyle and dietary steps such as the use of magnesium and gut rebalancing which can lead to more harmony in the brain, leading to improved, balanced mood.
Elisabeth Philipps and Antony Haynes
Finally, case studies will be shared which exemplify the effectiveness of these scientific insights. These will describe practical and simple ways of having safe lifestyle (including nutritional) changes that can tackle persistent inflammation, oxidation and immune activation.