Effect of Stress on Neuroimmune Processes



Purpose: Psychological stress worsens many diseases, especially those with inflammatory components, such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and autism spectrum disorder (ASD), conditions that are significantly correlated in large epidemiologic studies. However, how stress contributes to these conditions is still poorly understood. This narrative review of the relevant literature advances the premise that stress affects inflammatory processes in AD and ASD via stimulation of mast cells (MCs).

Methods: MEDLINE was searched between 1980 and 2019 using the terms allergies, atopic dermatitis, autism spectrum disorder, brain, corticotropin-releasing hormone, inflammation, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, mast cells, neuropeptides, stress, neurotensin, and substance P.

Findings: Exposure to psychological stress is associated with onset and/or exacerbation of AD and ASD. This association could be attributable to activation of MCs, which are ubiquitous in the body, including the brain, and could contribute to inflammation.

Implications: Understanding and addressing the connection between stress and MCs is important in clarifying the pathogenesis and developing effective treatments for diseases that worsen with stress and involve inflammation, such as AD and ASD.

Keywords: Atopic dermatitis; Autism spectrum disorder; Corticotropin-releasing hormone; Inflammation; Mast cells; Stress.

Source: PubMed

Stress that parents of autistic children and parents of children with cerebral palsy face with


Natasha Mateska1, Vladimir Trajkovski2

1unemployed special educator

2University “Ss. Cyril and Methodius”, Faculty of Philosophy, Institute of Special Education and Rehabilitation, Skopje, Republic of Macedonia

Introduction: Autism is a diagnose that affects every member of the family in different ways. Parents should focus a bigger part of their attention toward the autistic child, which can cause a stressful effect in the family as well as outside the family.

Aim of the study: To determine the stress that parents of autistic children face with compared to parents of children with cerebral palsy.

Methodology: The entire sample includes 90 respondents, of which 45 parents of autistic children and the rest 45 parents of children with cerebral palsy. The survey was conveyed using a questionnaire and methods of descriptive and comparative analysis were used. The comparison of the groups of surveyed was analyzed by using χ2 test and Fisher Exact test. The differences that were taken into consideration were on the level of significance p<0.05.

Results: Parents of autistic children compared with parents of children with cerebral palsy, statistically show significant difference for following variables: support from close community (χ2=7.57, df=1, p=0.006), stigmatization by family and community (χ2=5.4, df=1, p=0.02), isolation by the community (χ2=10.3, df=1, p=0.001), change in the relationship between spouses (χ2=7.53, df=1, p=0.006).

Conclusion: The parents of autistic children are faced with bigger stress in managing the everyday activities and control of life, compared with parents of children with cerebral palsy.

Key words: stress, parents, autism, cerebral palsy

Citation: Mateska N, Trajkovski V. Stress that parents of autistic children and parents of children with cerebral palsy face. Book of abstracts ‡ 9th International Scintific Conference – „Special Education and Rehabilitation Today“. Belgrade, September 25-27, 2015; 31.