My research focuses on how different types of stress can impact the immune system. Stress, whether it is physical or psychological, can have adverse effects on the human immune system and can increase susceptibility to infectious diseases and the activity of inflammatory-based diseases.
We recently completed a study detailing the effects of psychological stress on changes in immune biomarkers that occurred during marathon training and recovery. In this study, high levels of stress resulted in the greatest changes to immune biomarkers.
The current focus of my research is how various health-risk behaviors (namely physical inactivity and psychological stress) can affect an inflammatory-based disease such as allergic rhinitis. I am specifically interested in the relationship between physical activity levels and immune biomarkers associated with allergic disease activity and whether psychological stress can change this relationship.
Our future studies will include individualized interventions (both exercise- and psychological-based) to help manage allergic disease activity.
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