Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)

Neuroscenter Clinic

Located in Barcelona and Girona

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Neuroscenter Clinic

Located in Barcelona and Girona


Psychoneuroimmunology addresses health problems from an integrative and natural perspective. It is an interdisciplinary medical field that studies the relationship between psychological processes and the nervous and immune systems, and the effect this has on health.

PNI addresses pathologies from the source, finding and treating the cause of the problem instead of alleviating its symptoms.

From here, and based on exhaustive analysis, we work with nutrition and supplementation plans to regain the balance of the body and mind.

If you have complicated digestions, hormonal alterations, fatigue, skin problems, migraines, etc., or if you can’t find solutions to your health problems and conventional medicine isn’t working for you, PNI can help you.

History of PNI

Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) was born as a concept in the mid 1970s. Ader and Cohen, from the University of Rochester, discovered and verified that stimuli to the nervous system conditioned the responses of the immune system. This type of study had already been previously approached by scholars such as Claude Bernard, in the 19th century, or Pasteur, who discovered that chickens were more susceptible to becoming infected with anthrax if they were previously exposed to aversive stimuli. At the beginning of the 20th century, Cannon, from Harvard University, had already verified that emotions and perceptions influenced our autonomic nervous system. During this century, multiple experiments were carried out on animals, demonstrating the effect of stress on the immune system. In 1964, Solomon and Moss invented the term psychoimmunology. At the same time, Russian researchers Korneva and Khai showed that the brain played an important role in the immunoregulation process, although the Cold War did not allow its knowledge to reach the West at that time. At the same time, there were numerous studies and advances in the field of psychoneuroendocrinology, deepening the study of the relationship and interaction between the immune and endocrine systems.

In 1981 Adler and Cohen published “Psychoneuroimmunology” with Felten, from Indiana University, who discovered the network of nerves that connects the nervous and immune systems. Since then psychoneuroimmunology has undergone a surprising development. The PNIRS (PsychoNeuroInmunology Research Society) is the society dedicated to the study of PNI, and has been publishing its official journal “Brain Behaviour and Immunity” since 1987. Some of its most downloaded articles deal with glial brain activation in fibromyalgia, the correlation between personality and intestine microbiota, as well as toxoplasma and cytomegalovirus and their relationship with serious psychiatric disorders. Initially PNI did not have a clinical application. Clinical PNI is the result of the integration of Psychoneuroimmunology and Psychoendocrinology, in the form of an clinically applicable science. Dr. Leo Pruimboom and Bran Van Dam have been responsible for the development of clinical PNI since the late 1980s.

PNI consists of evolutionary medicine, lifestyle medicine, herbal medicine, supplementation, the microbiota, physical exercise, the adjustment of circadian rhythms, the assessment of the psychosocial aspects of the person, and a long etcetera. The evolutionary mismatch refers to disconnection with ourselves, with how we are, our evolutionary history, and how we live in the present, and today, it is the origin of most chronic pathologies with an inflammatory or autoimmune basis. Therefore, we can understand PNI as the practical clinical application of evolutionary medicine and basic sciences. In order to improve the state of health with PNI, a learning process is necessary for the patient, as well as a deep understanding of the reason for the need to make changes in lifestyle. Health professionals are in charge of helping the patients understand the need for these changes, as well as providing the necessary energy to face them.

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