Allergic reactions: sleep plays a crucial role
Almost every third adult in Germany suffers from an Allergy. In the Affected after contact with the Allergy triggers symptoms such as coughing, Sneezing, skin redness, itching, or rash. However, allergic reactions can occur without the triggering Allergen.
According to a recent communication from a research team at the University of Tübingen has deciphered the mechanism of learning MIS-matched allergic responses to a neutral environment and the crucial role of sleep. Their results were published in the journal “Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences” (PNAS).
Complaints usually occur immediately after contact
The Allergy information service of the Helmholtz Zentrum München – German research center for environmental health, according to the number of people with allergies is growing in the Western industrialised countries in the last decades, part twenty-fold.
In Germany, the adults between 18 and 79 years of age has been observed at less than a third have any allergies medical.
As the Institute for quality and efficiency in health care (IQWiG) declared on the Portal “gesundheitsinformation.de” it comes to allergic reactions, most commonly in the respiratory tract, the skin and the mucous membranes.
The symptoms occur according to the specialists usually immediately after contact, sometimes even after hours or days.
Influence of psychological factors on allergic reactions
Allergic reactions can also occur without the triggering Allergen, such as grass or birch pollen if Allergic or Allergy-free returns in the same spatial environment in which he or she was previously exposed to the Allergen.
Such a conditioning – Learning a conditioned response to a neutral and safe Situation happens, however, only after a sleep phase, which follows the conditioning.
This has now resulted in a new study on the influence of psychological factors on allergic reactions, carried out by a research team under the direction of Dr. Luciana Besedovsky and Professor Jan Born from the Institute of Medical psychology and Behavioral neurobiology, University of Tübingen.
With the results at least partially explain why allergic disorders are often observed in a kind of Placebo reaction without the presence of the Allergen.
Of allergic rhinitis without allergens
For the study subjects and of subjects with allergic rhinitis who were confronted in a neutral experimental room by the administration of a nasal spray with their respective Allergen such as grass or birch pollen.
The thickness of the at any of our Participating allergic reaction was in each case measured on the amount of a certain enzyme in the nasal secretions. Half of the subjects and the subjects went to this Experiment for eight hours of sleep, the second half had to stay until the next evening awake.
A week later, the Experiment was repeated in the same experimental room – only that this Time, were not administered to allergens.
“The volunteers responded shortly after Entering the experimental room with allergic rhinitis. However, only the sleep group,“ explains Besedovsky.
Neither the trial participants in the awake group had an allergic reaction to the return in the other place, the subjects were subjects of the sleep group in the second week, would have such an effect had.
Sleep phase played a crucial role
“As is the case with classical learning processes from other contexts, the phase of sleep played in our study, a crucial role. The only way the brain linked to a specific environment with an allergic reaction,“ says Jan Born.
According to the report, this was the first evidence that only a certain place can trigger an allergic reaction. The researchers assume that the conditioning by the environment, as with many memory processes, the brain structure of the Hippocampus is involved. This work of sleep-dependent.
“It is amazing how quickly the immune system learns the mismatched reaction. In the Experiment, a single allergen dose was sufficient to link the allergic reaction with the environment,“ explains Besedovsky.
This learning could mechanism be decrypted, to help both the allergies and the sleep research. Simple conclusions to improve the Situation of people with Allergies and allergies are difficult, however, because one cannot dispense with sleep, especially since these reactions would have a positive effect on other helpful immune. (ad)