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Mount Allison Professor Hosting Public Event Exploring Links Between Stress And Illness

SACKVILLE, NB — Mount Allison psychology professor Dr. Rima Azar says chronic stress and depression may be impacting more than just your mental well-being.

“Research has shown that continuous stress and persistent depressive symptoms can literally get under our skin and have a real impact on our physical health,” Azar says. “When our immune system is constantly being forced to work overtime, our body keeps on producing inflammation. This chronic low-grade inflammation has been linked to illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.”

Discussing ways to reduce the impact of stress and depression on our physical well-being is the focus of an event set for Monday, Nov. 19. Café Scientifique is an opportunity for the public to learn more about chronic low-grade inflammation, to share ideas, and to ask questions about the relationship between stress and illness.

Azar will be joined by Dr. Karl Looper, professor in the departments of psychiatry and oncology at McGill University, and Dr. Édouard Kouassi, pharmacist and professor in the department of medicine and medical specialties at Université de Montréal.

“Café Scientifique is a wonderful opportunity for people to hear more about the latest research on this topic from experts in the field, but in a casual, informal setting,” Azar says. “The panel will not only answer questions and share information, but provide strategies that can help people minimize the negative effects of stress and depression on the body.”

Café Scientifique, which is funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), takes place at the Marshlands Inn, 55 Bridge St., Sackville, beginning at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be served. All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP by Friday, Nov. 16 to azarlab@mta.ca or leave a message at (506) 364-2497.

Those who are unable to make it to the event, but who would still like to participate, are invited to follow the event on Twitter @MtAcafe and to join the conversation using #MtAcafe. Live tweets will be posted throughout the event and those following online are encouraged to submit their questions to the panel.