How The Immune System Affects Your Brain

How The Immune System Affects Your BrainNeurons are responsible for sending neurotransmitter signals to one another through circuits in your brain. The other cells in your body also have similar conversations. These conversations determine all the physiological functions throughout your body. For instance, your capillary cells send directional signals so your white blood cells can find infections throughout your body. Cellular conversations like this also affect your mental health.

Two-way cellular conversations occur between immune cells that travel throughout your body and your brain cells. These conversations are sent as signals. They’re molecules (sometimes inside of sacs) that get secreted into your blood vessels, tissues, and cerebrospinal fluid. The signals have a profound effect on your cognition and memory. They also have a lot to do with pain and depression – both of which are responses to pain.

T cells’ signals traveling through your cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) also have a major influence on your brain. There they have an impact on your behavior and cognition. For instance, when you have a fever your T cells will signal your brain to have a “sick feeling.” You’ll then slow down and take care of yourself until new T cells say it’s time to maintain normal cognition again.

T Cells and Mental Health

Your hippocampus routinely produces a few new neurons to help with the production of new memories. When you have a decreased production level here, research shows this correlates with depression. Therefore, there’s often a decrease in memory is depressed people. This is because T cells don’t signal for as many brain cells to be created. These same signals also affect the generalized inflammation that also occurs with depression. The treatment stimulates the immune signals to produce new neurons which results in better memory and less inflammation.

Another time when T cells are activated is with stress. Although short term stress can trigger increased learning due to increased production of neurons in your memory center, long term stress does the opposite. Therefore, it can result in decreased memory and damaging inflammation due to a decreased production of T cells.

Immune cells traveling throughout your body have many opportunities to send and receive signals with supportive brain cells like neurons. In this way, T cells secrete molecular signals directly into your tissues as they travel to your nerves. Once there, your neurons affect your other organs. This is why acupuncture works: The needle triggers your T cell to send a signal to the tissue. The tissue travels to the neuron whereby it sends another signal through your brain circuits. Here is where the acupuncture effect occurs and why it’s good for treating depression today.


Now we have a better understanding of the brain and its effect on mental health, as well as the role your T cells have in this elaborate communication system. This is just one of the many conversations your T cells have though. It’s also important to understand that your T cells also communicate with the other supportive areas of your brain – the oligodendrocytes, astrocytes, and microglia. This is why understanding your T cells will not only give you better information about your mental health but also about their role when it comes to things like chronic pain.

Today, as this new research emerges, we’re starting to see entirely new ways of treating depression. This is the type of research that doctors are taking notice of in hopes of providing their mental health patients with better treatment modalities today. It’s also something that TMS Advantage in Clearwater, St. Petersburg, FL is keeping a watchful eye on. So, if you need help with depression or another mental health issue and you want a doctor who’s at the forefront of research ideologies such as this, contact them today.

Picture Credit: freepik

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