The candidate's research program in psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) has focused on psychological influences on immune function in humans. Older adults represent a particularly important population for PNI research. Immune function declines with age, particularly functional aspects of the cellular immune response, and these-age-related decrements are thought to be associated with the greatly increased morbidity and mortality from infectious in the elderly. Furthermore, older adults show greater immunologic impairments related to depression or stress than younger adults. Two recent studies from the candidate's lab have confirmed that chronic stress has clear adverse consequences for older adults' physical health: caregivers for a spouse with a progressive dementia demonstrated slower wound healing and impaired influenza vaccine response when compared to well-matched controls. These data are very relevant to a central question throughout the PNI literature, the extent to which stress-induced immunologic changes have measurable consequences for morbidity and mortality. Chronic stress is likely to have additional ramifications for infectious illness beyond vulnerability to influenza. Immune responses to influenza vaccine reflect (primarily) immunologic memory. However, age-related decrements in immune function are most pronounced for """"""""new"""""""" antigents, i.e., primary immune responses; therefore, the influenza vaccine data may actually underestimate the impact of stress on antigen processing. The addition of two new vaccines to the longitudinal study will provide information directly relevant to this issue. By assessing immune responses to hepatitis A and pneumococcal pneumonia vaccines (as well as continued studies on influenza vaccine), the study will provide further data on stress-related alterations in both primary and memory immune responses of direct relevance to older adults' health. In addition, further pilot studies related to stress and wound healing are proposed. Thus, the candidate's research efforts will be directed toward enhancing the understanding of the actual health consequences of stress-related immunologic changes among older adults.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Research Scientist Development Award - Research (K02)
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Mental Disorders of Aging Review Committee (MDA)
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Ohio State University
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Heffner, Kathi L; Loving, Timothy J; Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K et al. (2006) Older spouses' cortisol responses to marital conflict: associations with demand/withdraw communication patterns. J Behav Med 29:317-25
Heffner, Kathi L; Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Loving, Timothy J et al. (2004) Spousal support satisfaction as a modifier of physiological responses to marital conflict in younger and older couples. J Behav Med 27:233-54
Glaser, Ronald; Robles, Theodore F; Sheridan, John et al. (2003) Mild depressive symptoms are associated with amplified and prolonged inflammatory responses after influenza virus vaccination in older adults. Arch Gen Psychiatry 60:1009-14
Robles, Theodore F; Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K (2003) The physiology of marriage: pathways to health. Physiol Behav 79:409-16
Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Bane, Cynthia; Glaser, Ronald et al. (2003) Love, marriage, and divorce: newlyweds' stress hormones foreshadow relationship changes. J Consult Clin Psychol 71:176-88
McGuire, Lynanne; Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Glaser, Ronald (2002) Depressive symptoms and lymphocyte proliferation in older adults. J Abnorm Psychol 111:192-7
Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; McGuire, Lynanne; Robles, Theodore F et al. (2002) Psychoneuroimmunology and psychosomatic medicine: back to the future. Psychosom Med 64:15-28
Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; McGuire, Lynanne; Robles, Theodore F et al. (2002) Psychoneuroimmunology: psychological influences on immune function and health. J Consult Clin Psychol 70:537-47
Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; McGuire, Lynanne; Robles, Theodore F et al. (2002) Emotions, morbidity, and mortality: new perspectives from psychoneuroimmunology. Annu Rev Psychol 53:83-107
Kiecolt-Glaser, Janice K; Glaser, Ronald (2002) Depression and immune function: central pathways to morbidity and mortality. J Psychosom Res 53:873-6

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