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Professor Stephen Kent HOS Psychology & Public Health, Office Of Psychology & Public Health

I have a long-standing interest in Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) the interactions between behaviour, the brain and the immune system. Our recent work has characterised the behavioural, physiological, and immunological consequences of caloric restriction. We've shown that caloric restriction attenuates the inflammatory response. Stemming from this, we are currently examining the role of neuropeptide Y (NPY) in the development and maintenance of fever and sickness behaviour. This latter term refers to the constellation of non-specific symptoms that sick individuals experience, including malaise, fatigue, and disinterest in usual activities such as eating, drinking, and social activities.

Previously in the lab we have investigated the behavioural effects of proinflammatory cytokines (e.g., IL-1Beta, IL-6, TNF-alpha ) including their site of action, and the neurochemical intermediaries immune-induced cognitive impairments the effects of controllable and uncontrollable stress on the immune system the potential link between cytokines, heart attacks, and depression and IBS.

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