PHOENICIA, NY Because he discovered a key link between the mind and the body, Kevin J. Tracey, MD, The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research's director and CEO, was invited to speak this morning at "Longevity and Optimal Health: Integrating Eastern and Western Perspectives." This conference, co-hosted by the Columbia University Integrative Medicine Program and Tibet House, has brought together leading scientists, scholars and practitioners to discuss how recent advances in the Western science of aging may reveal how the Indo-Tibetan traditions of meditation, diet and yoga extend life. The XIVth Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, is the guest of honor and will deliver a summary response integrating the discussions at the conclusion of the conference.
Through years of painstaking research on the immune system's response to injury, Dr. Tracey and his colleagues worldwide made several incremental discoveries that led to a new theory he coined "the inflammatory reflex." The inflammatory reflex is the foundation for the mind-body connection, as it provides a direct link between the nervous system and that which normally keeps people healthy -- the immune system. This morning Dr. Tracey shared his findings and the latest applications of this theory during the panel discussion on "Protection," moderated by Erin Olivo, PhD, MPH, director of the Columbia Integrative Medicine Program.
First published in the journal Nature in December 2002, Dr. Tracey's groundbreaking discovery that the brain controls the immune system via the vagus nerve -- the largest nerve in the body that wanders through the major organs -- has gained international acclaim, including a Nobel Conference dedicated to the topic hosted by the renowned Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Sweden, in September 2004, which he co-chaired.
One of the immune system's weapons against foreign invaders is a molecule called tumor necrosis factor, or TNF. A "big gun," TNF can cause a local respon
Contact: Christina Verni
North Shore-Long Island Jewish (LIJ) Health System