CTV NEWS | Loneliness can directly impair immune system, increase risk of death: study

Published: 17 June 2020

The findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences earlier in June, show how social isolation can negatively affect the health of the brain as well as the immune system.“Social isolation, or a lack of social opportunity, gives rise to a sense of loneliness. Directly or indirectly, this feeling has many wide-ranging consequences for our psychological well-being as well as our physical health, even our longevity,” the study states. “In short, loneliness kills people.” They found that loneliness can have a profound impact on the brain and that insufficient social stimulation affects its reasoning and memory performances, its hormone homeostasis, which controls blood glucose levels and blood pressure, its amount of grey and white matter, its connectivity and function, and its resilience to mental and physical disease.

“We are social creatures. Social interplay and co-operation have fuelled the rapid ascent of human culture and civilization. Yet, social species struggle when forced to live in isolation,” co-author Danilo Bzdok, an associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at McGill University, said in a press release.

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