There is a fair bit of research going on about this. It is safe to say that chronic stress affects the immune system, but the size and importance of the effects have not really been established yet.
Almost nothing has been done on the placebo effect in human immunology, largely I think because of ethical concerns (is it right to lie to patients about what drugs they are receiving?) Nocebo effects (adverse) are quite common: Patients who get ill just seeing the doctor who gave them the drugs that made them sick, for example. In animals, conditioned immunosuppression has been repeatedly demonstrated. No one has done any research on that final question, as far as I know.
There is no published association between OI and immune abnormalities. However, OI is a genetic condition that affects several body systems, some of which could lead to increased infection rates (such as the difficulty keeping airways clear that some OI patients have).
There are 8 known human herpes viruses, but they have very different properties, and each causes its own set of problems; it’s like humans and rats are both in the mammal family butt are quite different otherwise. Herpes simplex 1 and 2 cause cold sores and genital herpes, respectively. VZV causes chicken pox and shingles. HHV 6 and 7 cause roseola. EBV and CMV cause infectious mononucleosis. HHV8 causes Kaposi’s sarcoma as seen mostly in AIDS patients.
Probably none. The surgeon rarely removes every last scrap of lymph node because they are simple too small to see; and the residual tissue can expand with time to replace it. And the rest of the body is full of lymph nodes to maintain immunity.
At CU School of Medicine there is very extensive teaching about nutrition. It is old guys like JJ Cohen who weren’t taught much, (though even he had a whole course in it.) Patients seem to be a group who needs more teaching about healthy, rather than trendy, life style modifications.
This is a very good question, and I’d have to say it must be both. I used to go to DC 3 times a year for very intense grant review meetings, and I’d always come home with a cold. I told my colleague that it was because my immune system was depressed by the stress of travel and work. He, a virologist, said that was nonsense: what really caused it was the exposure to a room full of people from around the country, all coughing new virus strains that we don’t have in Colorado on me. I think we were both kind of right.
A study from Sweden reported in 2004: “A daily nasal spray with saline can prevent nasal symptoms of common cold in a population of otherwise healthy adults.” Another study compared zinc lozenges to hand washing and said hand washing is the best thing to do. So, use saline, not some special stuff (not zinc! it can permanently destroy smell receptors) and do it with clean hands.
Yes it had been tested, mostly in military volunteers. There is a pretty acrimonious literature about it, but I was unable to find a single study that showed convincingly that it is harmful. Nevertheless, 60% of people in the military think it is or may be, and do not want it. This issue was more intense when we believed that there was a risk of anthrax bioweapons in Iraq.
Blood flow in the heart is supposed to be streamlined, like flow down a straight-sided river. If the valves become damaged, flow can be turbulent (either through the valve in the usual way, or backwards if the valve is leaky). Turbulence is audible, and listened for with the stethoscope; turbulence in heart blood flow is called a murmur.
People with a Streptococcus infection like strep throat make antibodies to the bacteria. A very small proportion of people make enough of an antibody that also binds to a protein associated with heart valves (this is called “cross-reaction.”) Then the immune system, thinking the heart is a bacterium, attacks it. This can lead to valve damage. Many older people with heart murmurs had rheumatic fever (as this cross-reaction following a Strep infection is called) as children. It is rare now because we treat so early with antibiotics that people make only a little antibody; but it is still common in the developing world.