Blocking The Jnk Pathway Prevents Reactivation
To find out if the virus could sense when the neurons are under stress and activate an escape pathway, they focused on the protein JNK. To a dish of mouse neurons, first author and virologist Anna Cliffe added chemicals that mimic the loss of nerve growth factor neurons need this factor to remain healthy.
She also used a corticosteroid to mimic what happens in the body, as stress causes high levels of corticosteroids to be released.
Results showed that the JNK protein pathway was activated just before the virus began to leave neurons. When the JNK pathway was blocked, the virus could no longer reactivate.
The team also found that the virus can be reactivated even when the viral DNA in neurons is repressed.
Researchers found that the histones associated with viral DNA did not undergo the process of demethylation that allows tightly packaged DNA, known as chromatin, to become more open so that gene expression including HSV gene expression can occur this is how the virus becomes reactivated.
This is surprising, because normally, the methyl marks or epigenetic modifications need to be removed before DNA can be opened in this case, gene expression occurred even when the methyl marks were still there.
The experiments show that the virus is able to modify its chromatin through phosphorylation of the histone next to the methyl mark the methyl marks act as a methyl/phospho switch or, as Deshmukh says, brakes to refuse gene expression.
When Should You Call Your Doctor
- Have a rash or blisters on your face, especially near an eye or on the tip of your nose. This can be a warning of eye problems. Treatment can help prevent permanent eye damage.
- Think you have shingles. Early treatment with antiviral medicines may help reduce pain and prevent complications of shingles, such as disseminated zoster or postherpetic neuralgia.
If you still feel intense pain for more than 1 month after the skin heals, see your doctor to find out if you have postherpetic neuralgia . Getting your pain under control right away may prevent nerve damage that may cause pain that lasts for months or years.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated With Shingrix
You should not receive the Shingrix vaccine if you:
- Have ever had a severe allergy to this vaccine or any ingredient in this vaccine.
- Are breastfeeding or pregnant.
- Are somewhat ill or very ill and have a high fever.
- Have tested negative for immunity to varicella zoster virus .
Ask your healthcare provider if the benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh any potential risks.
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How Stress Affects Arthritis
Managing a chronic disease affect many aspects of daily living, including emotional health . Heres what to do if youre stressed out.
Stress is a constant presence in our lives. A chronic disease like arthritis, which brings pain, high medical bills, and an uncertain future, ramps up stress levels even more. Being under stress can worsen arthritis symptoms. The best solution is to manage stress before it can undermine disease management and quality of live
How stress contributes to arthritis
Your bodys stress response triggers the release of chemicals that ready you to face the challenge at hand. Your breathing quickens, your heart rate increases, and your muscles tense in preparation. This reaction is fine in the short term, but when it fires repeatedly, the increased tension in your muscles can amplify your arthritis pain. Stress also sets off the immune systems inflammatory response. Inflammation is what fuels joint damage in rheumatoid arthritis , lupus, psoriatic arthritis , ankylosing spondylitis , and other inflammatory forms of the disease. The longer youre exposed to stress, the more destructive the inflammation can become. In a PLoS One study, people with RA identified stress as a trigger for disease flare-ups.
How arthritis worsens stress
Coping with stress
Here are a few tips to help you manage stress:
If I Have Disseminated Zoster/shingles What Can I Expect For My Hospital Stay
It is important to note that most people with shingles do not need to be in a hospital, but if you do:
- You will be in an airborne-contact isolation room.
- The door will be kept closed.
- A sign on your door will remind people who have never had chickenpox or the vaccine not to enter.
- The sign will also remind staff to wear gowns and gloves when entering the room.
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Is Shingles Prevention Possible Is There A Shingles Vaccine
Prevention of shingles in people who have contracted chickenpox is difficult, since the factors that trigger reactivation are not yet defined. However, if a person is never infected with the virus, shingles will not develop. Furthermore, there are at least two methods that are currently used to reduce the incidence of shingles.
First, the VZV vaccine, otherwise known as the chickenpox vaccine, may decrease the incidence of shingles by enhancing the immune system’s ability to fight off VZV or keep this virus inactive. This vaccine is usually administered to children, but the immunity may decline in about 15-20 years. The single-dose vaccine dose is given to babies 12-18 months of age. Most vaccine side effects, if they occur, are mild and range from a rash, skin redness, and swelling to small chickenpox lesions, usually at the injection site. Boosters of this vaccine for use in adults are now being investigated and may help prevent shingles in the future.
Shingrix is the vaccine the CDC currently recommends as the preferred shingles vaccine. Two doses about 2-6 months apart are more than 90% effective in preventing shingles and PHN, and it is recommended for use in people 50 and over. Side effects of Shingrix may occur and last about 2-3 days and may include redness and swelling at the inoculation site. Some individuals may experience muscle pain, headache, shivering, fever, stomach pain, and nausea.
Do I Have Shingles Symptoms
Although the telltale rash is what gives shingles its name, you can detect some symptoms before the rash appears. In fact, patients often feel the first sign before they see it: An itchy or burning sensation on the skin. Some people describe it as feeling like theres a cut even though the skin still looks normal. The rash appears shortly thereafter. Check out the typical path of shingles:
Burning: You experience the sensation of burning, tingling, numbness, itching, or sensitivity in a patch of skin. Some people also have flu-like symptoms such as fatigue, headache, and fever.
Rash: Between one and five days later, an angry, painful rash made up of small red spots will appear at the same site.
Oozing blisters: After a few more days, the rash turns into fluid-filled blisters that weep or ooze.
Scabbing: About seven to 10 days later, the blisters dry up and crust over.
Resolution: In a few more weeks, the scabs clear up.
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Where Does Shingles Come From
When you have chickenpox as a child, your body fights off the varicella-zoster virus and the physical signs of chickenpox fade away, but the virus always remains in your body. In adulthood, sometimes the virus becomes active again. This time, the varicella-zoster virus makes its second appearance in the form of shingles.
Prevention & Treatment For Shingles
If you are worried about shingles, there are a few different treatment options available. Since shingles is caused by the same virus as chickenpox, the chickenpox vaccine is one preventative measure. The vaccine is also recommended for adults whove never had chickenpox. There are also two shingles-specific vaccines available. Choosing any of these prevention methods doesnt guarantee that you wont get the chickenpox or shingles, but it will likely reduce the course and severity of the disease if you do end up experiencing it. In terms of treatment for shingles, theres no current cure but there are available treatment options. Prompt treatment with prescription antiviral drugs can speed healing and reduce your risk of complications.
How to Manage Your Stress
Another preventative measure for shingles is stress management, as this can not only help protect your immune system but also improve your overall state of mind. There are countless triggers and sources of stress, ranging from everyday work tasks to more severe situations such as a sudden death in the family or unexpectedly losing your job. Everyone has different stressors, and finding the right management techniques will vary from person to person. Some ways to manage your stress include:
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How Stress And Shingles Are Related
The reactivation of the VZV virus is linked to a weakened immune system, which can be a byproduct of stress. When the body is put under extreme stress, it can cause many negative effects on the mind and body, including creating a compromised immune system. Having a lowered immune system can make it harder for your body to defend itself against viruses, including the VZV virus. Other diseases such as HIV, cancer, cancer treatments and immunotherapy can also decrease immune system efficiency.
Everyone reacts differently to stressful situations, but the way you cope with these situations is important in ensuring a healthy body and mind. Here are a few tips for improving and managing the stress in your life for a healthier you:
Sleep: Getting enough sleep is essential for a healthy mind. Unfortunately, many of us do not get enough sleep. The Mayo Clinic states that in general, adults need between seven and nine hours of good sleep each night.
Physical Activity: Receiving the proper amount of exercise can benefit many areas of your life and can even decrease your chances of developing many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers. It is recommended to get at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity each week.
What Does The Latest Research Show
In 2020, an analysis of a whopping 88 studies on the risk factors for shingles assessed them by category. While the greatest risk, the researchers concluded, was immunosuppression from HIV/AIDS and cancer therapies , psychological stress was also found to play a role.
An earlier review of 20 studies published in Innovations in Clinical Neuroscience focused solely on the stress-shingles connection. This research provides more affirmation, citing that the existing literature at the time was fairly consistent in concluding that stress, stressful life events, and depressive symptoms may partially contribute to outbreaks of HZ , according to co-author Randy Sansone, M.D., professor emeritus of psychiatry and internal medicine at Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton, OH, and director of Psychiatry Education at Kettering Medical Center.
The results were eye-opening. Men with high levels of mental stress were twice as likely to be at risk for shingles, and women who experienced negative life eventsparticularly changes in their work, living environment, and relationshipshad a two to three-fold higher risk of PHN. Conversely, the risk of shingles was 60% lower among men and women who reported a high sense of purpose in life.
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How Im Feeling Now
Three weeks on, and Im feeling a million times better. Theres still a bit of a scab where the rash was and its feels quite numb around the area, but overall I think Ive managed to come out of it quite well. Some people can suffer with it for months, and it can also reoccur multiple times. I really hope not!
Sometimes when I feel my stress levels increasing, I can actually feel tingling in my scalp. Its a good reminder to take a few deep breaths and try to calm down.
Next time I get a rash or bite like this, Ill get to the doctor straight away.
To get the latest facts about shingles, we spoke to Dr Corina Vidgen, who is a General Practitioner at Myhealth Castle Towers, Castle Hill. You can also visit the Australian Government Department of Health website.
What is shingles?
Shingles is caused by a reactivation of the virus that causes chickenpox. Usually occurs in adulthood, many years after the initial chicken pox infection, and develops more often in people who are immunosuppressed. After having a bout of chicken pox, the virus lays dormant in the spinal cord and when it reactivates, it does so from a particular segment of the spinal cord giving rise to symptoms and rash in a given dermatomal distribution that corresponds to the level of spinal cord affected.
What are the first signs of shingles?
How is shingles treated?
If youre diagnosed with shingles, what should you do?
Most of our readers are in their 30s and 40s. Is shingles something they should be aware of?
Reducing Your Risk Of Infections
See your healthcare provider if you need help in coping with stress. There are numerous strategies recommended for coping with stress, including psychosocial interventions that decrease a persons own perception of stress and improves their social supports. Certain medications may also help in reducing the stress that’s caused by specific disorders.
How each person responds to stress varies. Some people deal with stress by engaging in unhealthy health behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, or excessive eating all of which will contribute to the chances of getting infections. And in some cases, these health behaviors contribute to worse stress, resulting in a continuous cycle of poor health and stress. It is important to remember, though, that there are many factors involved in getting an infectious disease, and stress management should be accompanied by healthy habits, such as hand washing and avoiding exposure to infections.
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For Older Adults: Shingles Vaccine
A different vaccine, the herpes zoster vaccine, is available for people aged 50 and older who have had chickenpox and therefore carry VZV. Experts also recommend this vaccine for those who have not had chickenpox or shingles.
In the U.S., of people born before 1980 already have this virus in their system. The herpes zoster vaccine can help prevent shingles in people who already have the virus.
The options available are Zostavax and a newer vaccine called Shingrix.
After two doses of Shingrix, a person will have more than 90% protection against shingles, falling to just above 85% after 4 years, according to the CDC.
Can You Catch Shingles
Shingles is not contagious. You cant catch it from someone. But, you can catch chickenpox from someone with shingles. So, if youve never had chickenpox, try to stay away from anyone who has shingles.
If you have shingles, try to stay away from anyone who has not had chickenpox or who might have a weak immune system.
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Can Stress Cause Shingles
Its become almost a cliché to tell family caregivers to remember to take care of themselves, but its for good reason: many of them end up combatting serious illness after their immune systems become weakened under stress. Shingles is one such disease that afflicts some family caregivers who find themselves overwhelmed with so many care responsibilities.
What Is Shingles?
Shingles is a painful skin rash caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. About half of the people in the United States who contract shingles are age 60 or older and almost one out of every three people in the U.S. will develop shingles. This is partly because the immune system is weakening with age, so the combination of age and stress can leave a person susceptible to an outbreak of shingles.
While stress itself does not cause shingles, todays typical family caregiver is someone in the age range to have had chickenpox as a childand therefore possibly a virus still in their bodyand this means that when the stress of caring for an elder loved one gets to be too much, they may develop a painful case of shingles.
Symptoms include pain in the form of a burning or tingling on one side of the body followed a few days later by a red rash. Not everyone develops a rash, fever or headache too. If someone suspects shingles, they should contact their health care provider, but it is urgent if the symptoms occur near an eye or if you have a weakened immune system due to another chronic illness.
Disclaimer And Safety Information
This information is not intended to replace the attention or advice of a physician or other qualified health care professional. Anyone who wishes to embark on any dietary, drug, exercise, or other lifestyle change intended to prevent or treat a specific disease or condition should first consult with and seek clearance from a physician or other qualified health care professional. Pregnant women in particular should seek the advice of a physician before using any protocol listed on this website. The protocols described on this website are for adults only, unless otherwise specified. Product labels may contain important safety information and the most recent product information provided by the product manufacturers should be carefully reviewed prior to use to verify the dose, administration, and contraindications. National, state, and local laws may vary regarding the use and application of many of the therapies discussed. The reader assumes the risk of any injuries. The authors and publishers, their affiliates and assigns are not liable for any injury and/or damage to persons arising from this protocol and expressly disclaim responsibility for any adverse effects resulting from the use of the information contained herein.
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What Should I Expect Will Happen To Me If I Get Shingles
Shingles can be a very painful condition. If you think you have the symptoms of shingles, see your healthcare provider right away. Starting antiviral medications early can ease your discomfort and reduce the duration of your symptoms.
A better approach to shingles is to take action and do what you can to lessen your risk of getting it. If you never had shingles or had a bout of them in the past, talk to your healthcare provider about getting the shingles vaccine. If youve never had chickenpox, talk with your healthcare provider about getting the chickenpox vaccine.