Special Education

Education of Students with Mental Retardation
CAUSES OF MENTAL RETARDATION
TESTING INTELLIGENCE
PROGRAMS
DEVELOPMENT OF FIELD
CURRENT ISSUES

Mental Retardation
DEGREES OF SEVERITY
Mild
Moderate
Severe
Profound
CAUSES
Genetic Causes
External Causes
PREVENTION

TREATMENT AND CARE
Education
Living Arrangements
Employment Opportunities

Psychosis
Behaviorism
Memory Distortions
The Nature of Intelligence
Human Motivation
Benefits of Psychotherapy
Psychological Influences on the Immune System

Special Olympics
Cretinism
Fetal Alcohol Syndrome
HOW ALCOHOL AFFECTS THE FETUS
German Measles
Iodine Deficiency Disorder Threatens Millions
Phenylketonuria
Tay-Sachs Disease
Down Syndrome Chromosomes

Maria Montessori
EARLY LIFE
MONTESSORI METHOD
LATER LIFE

Psychological Influences on the Immune System


The immune system is a complex surveillance system that fights bacteria, viruses, and other foreign substances that invade the body. This defense relies on the actions of specialized white blood cells called lymphocytes, which circulate through the bloodstream and secrete chemical antibodies. Scientists have discovered that the immune system is linked to other systems of the body, including the brain and nervous system. Psychoneuroimmunology is the study of the relationship between psychological influences, the nervous system, and the immune system.

Researchers in this field have found that psychological factors such as stress can influence immune cell activity and increase vulnerability to physical illness. In controlled animal experiments, rats exposed to overcrowding, noise, or inescapable shocks—and primates separated from social companions—exhibit a significant drop in immune cell activity compared to unstressed animals. In addition, studies on humans have shown that immune cell activity changes in response to divorce, the death of a spouse, loss of employment, and other negative life events. This research helps to explain why stress increases the risk of illnesses ranging from the common cold to certain forms of cancer. It has also sparked interest in how optimism, social support, and other psychological factors can be used to protect the body.

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