Author(s): Ray O
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Abstract This paper reviews the social and behavioral factors acting on the brain that influence health, illness, and death. Using data from several areas of research, a new paradigm is proposed for understanding health and illness. This paradigm, psychoendoneuroimmunology (PENI), provides both the concepts and the mechanisms for studying and explaining mind-body relationships. The brain is the body's first line of defense against illness, and the mind is the functioning of the brain. PENI incorporates ideas, belief systems, hopes, and desires as well as biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy. As we change our thoughts, we are changing our brain and thus our biology and our body. Belief systems set a baseline for the brain upon which other variables will act and have their effects.
This article was published in Ann N Y Acad Sci
and referenced in Translational Medicine