Lecture 98: The potential link between autoimmune disease and psychological stress: implications for prevention on an individual and societal level

When: Thursday January 12, 2017 – 7:30 PM
Where: Montgomery Community College (Rockville Campus) – Humanities Building (HU), Conference Room 009
(Get Directions, Campus Map)


Speaker:Yousef Zarbalian, MD
Language: English


The cause of autoimmune diseases is complex and multifactorial: genetic, environmental, hormonal, and immunologic factors are all considered important in their development. The world’s increasing incidence and prevalence of autoimmune diseases over the past 30 years suggests that environmental risk factors are playing a major role. Chronic psychological stress has been implicated in the development of autoimmune disease, but what does this mean in practical terms? We will explore the nature of short-term and chronic stress and their protective and pathologic impacts on immune function. Based on the available scientific literature, we will discuss what steps may be taken on an individual and societal level to potentially prevent autoimmune disease and, ultimately, enhance overall well-being.

About the Speaker:

Dr. Yousef Zarbalian is a board-certified rheumatologist and internist. He obtained his medical doctorate (M.D.) from Washington University in St. Louis. He completed internal medicine residency at the University of Maryland followed by rheumatology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. He has done research on vasculitis (Giant cell arteritis) and presented his research at the 2016 American College of Rheumatology conference. Dr. Zarbalian started clinical practice at the Northern Virginia Center for Arthritis in August 2016 and he takes care of patients with autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, vasculitis, lupus, and sjogren’s syndrome.

For this lecture: light refreshment will be provided

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