Loneliness triggers unhealthy immune response

In an analysis of 93 older adults, UCLA researchers discovered that genes from two particular cell types – plasmacytoid dendridic cells and monocytes -  were overexpressed in chronically lonely individuals vs. the remainder in the sample. These types of cells produce an inflammatory response to tissue damage. It is the same response that over the long-term, can promote cardiovascular disease, cancer and neuro-degeneration.  The research appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.   So interaction between people is apparently healthy on a genetic level as well as a psychological one.  Call that friend you’ve been meaning to speak with, today . . . it’s healthy for both of you!

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