Skin wheal disease manifests as a discolored patch of skin that appears elevated and changes shape; and allergen induced response of skin wheal responses are the most frequent contributing factor behind the onset of this disease. Now it has been observed that the stress plays a crucial role in the exacerbation of the allergen induced skin wheal responses, which is associated with the increasing levels of neuropeptides and neurotrophins. The stress triggers the mast cell degranulation with the aid of neurotrophines and nerve growth factors (Kimata, 2004). Hence a reduction in the level of stress can significantly improve the skin wheal responses in the patient concerned. Kissing or any other emotion of happiness has been identified as key reducing factor of allergic skin wheal responses. This assignment will explore the article by Hajime Kimata and will attempt to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the article in explaining the impact of kissing on reducing skin wheal responses.
The allergic responses can be considered the most conspicuous indicator of the impact that stress can very easily aggravate. This research study explores the reduction in the allergic impact of stress by happiness generated by kissing, judging the reduction of plasma neurotrophin levels (Kimata, 2003). The population sampling included 30 patients segregated into three groups each, normal subjects, patients with allergic rhinitis(AR), and patients with atopic dermatitis(AD). All the subjects with either AR or AD were extremely allergic to house dust mite(HDM) and Japanese cedar pollen(JCP). The study revealed the fact that the kissing activity reduced the extent of skin wheal responses induced by only HDM and JCP, and decreased the level of different neurotrophins in the blood of the subjects who either had AR or AD (Kimata, 2003). It can be stated that the impact of kissing can extensively have implications in specific alteration of the neurological and immunological response of human bodies to allergens, although the effect is only limited to particular kinds of allergens and subjects who have moderate to severe susceptibility to these allergic reactions.
One of the major limitations that has been observed in the study is the restricted sampling carried out, the three classes of sample population selected were very restricted in terms of age group. Along with that, the sample size for the research study for all the mentioned groups have been very limited which might have contributed bias constrains on the results. The study also failed to discover why or how the kissing activity had no positive results in minimizing the allergic response in the patients due to histamine (Kimata, 2003). The author could not explain the exact mechanism by which the activity reduced levels of neurotrophins, brain derived nerve factors, NT-3 and NT-4 in the allergic patients. The study has also failed to characterize why the activity yielded no outcome in the control subjects with no AR or AD. It can be stated that the research study has failed to incorporate an articulated set of detailing on the neuro-immunological impact of happiness inducing activities on different allergies. Hence, there is need for extensive research to identify the exact signaling mechanism and characterize how to control the concomitant reduction of the allergic response in the susceptible subjects. Along with that, this research study only focused on two allergic disease, allergic rhinitis and atopic dermatitis; there is need for other broader allergic reaction to be tested for this hypothesis (Liccardi et al., 2017)
According to the theory of James Lange, the emotional reaction of a human being is dependent entirely upon the physiological reaction of the event. Hence, it can be hypothesized based on the direction of the theory that the human emotions bear a significant interrelation with the physiological and biochemical mechanisms of the human body. Moreover, there can be a profound link between the physiological impact of human emotion and different neurobiological functions of the body such as allergic response (Plutchik & Kellerman, 2013). There is an intense antagonistic association between the impact of stress and happiness on human body system, and the research study by Kimata attempted to discover the pathway that governs the alteration in the human physiological and bio-signaling procedure within the body by the activities that facilitate emotions of happiness. However there had been a few key shortcomings in the research study that has left behind a few key gaps in explaining the genetic and signaling pathway governing the entire procedure. This study had a considerably small sampling and limited details offered to the concept that kissing might induce some key signaling pathways that might directly or indirectly regulate or alter the immunological response of the body and reduce the susceptibility of certain allergic diseases like the skin wheal response (McGaugh, 2016). In order to check the extent of alteration that this activity can bring upon the plasma levels of neurotrophins, before and after the kissing activity skin prick tests were performed on the subjects with both HDM allergens, JCP allergens, and histamine in the research study. The authors discovered that the impact of the kissing activity could not elicit any results in reducing the skin wheal responses induced by histamine in the subjects. Although they could not explain the allergen specific impact of the activity and neither could explore the exact mechanism of the concomitant reduction in the neurotrophins and nerve growth factors in the plasma; the underlying contributing factors behind the results generated have been explained solely based on assumptions, hence all these factors need to be further researched so that a clear idea can be generated facilitating better understanding of the impact of emotion on human biology. Moreover, the relation of cortisol with the entire mechanism of concomitant reduction of the allergen induced reaction had been studied very superficially along with the reduction pattern of the concentration of the neurotrophins and other nerve growth factors (Kimata, 2003). Further study emphasizing on the mechanism of change in the immunological pathway after due to the kissing activity or other such human emotion enhancing activities will be extremely helpful in understanding the interlink between the emotion responses in the body and its impact on strengthening the immunological action can be characterized. Furthermore, extensive research interlinking the impact of cortisol signaling and reduction in the concentration of the four neuropeptides mentioned in the study like neurotrophins, NGF, BDNF, NT-3, and NT-4. Lastly, it has to be mentioned any activity that involves physical intimacy when forced can generate completely different reaction in the human subjects, hence the validity of the results generated in the study can be completely dependent on the artificially designed environments, the next step for this research must also consider this ethical constrain so that the reaction of such activities on allergic response can be checked incorporating minimal bias rather than a forced or artificial setting
Kimata, H. (2002). The Effect of the Emotion of Happiness on Allergic Skin Wheal Responses and Plasma Levels of Neuropeptides and Nerve Growth Factor in Patients with Allergic Rhinitis. Oto-Rhino-Laryngologia Nova, 12(6), 266-269.
Kimata, H. (2003). Kissing reduces allergic skin wheal responses and plasma neurotrophin levels. Physiology & Behavior, 80(2-3), 395-398.
Kimata, H. (2003). Listening to Mozart Reduces Allergic Skin Wheal Responses and in Vitro Allergen-specific IgE Production in Atopic Dermatitis Patients with Latex Allergy. Behavioral Medicine, 29(1), 15-19.
Kimata, H. (2004). Laughter Counteracts Enhancement of Plasma Neurotrophin Levels and Allergic Skin Wheal Responses by Mobile Phone—Mediated Stress. Behavioral Medicine, 29(4), 149-154.
Laird, J. D., & Lacasse, K. (2014). Bodily influences on emotional feelings: Accumulating evidence and extensions of William James’s theory of emotion. Emotion Review, 6(1), 27-34.
Liccardi, G., Caminati, M., Senna, G., Calzetta, L., & Rogliani, P. (2017). Anaphylaxis and intimate behaviour. Current Opinion in Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 17(5), 350-355.
McGaugh, J. L. (Ed.). (2016). Emotions and bodily responses: A psychophysiological approach. Academic Press.
Plutchik, R., & Kellerman, H. (Eds.). (2013). Theories of emotion (Vol. 1). Academic Press.