Central nervous system (CNS) consists of the brain and spinal cord that are composed of neurons that have functions in controlling movements, processing sensory information, and making decisions.

Scientists have found that chronic social stress may worsen neuro-degenerative disorder leading to more of the cells of the brain and spinal cord being destroyed. They found that stress increased the levels of protein cytokine called interleukin-6 (IL-6). Increase of the interleukin-6 levels led to increase and severity of multiple sclerosis-like symptoms in mice.

Cytokines, pro-inflammatory proteins, regulate immunity and inflammatory functions. When the mice underwent IL-6 neutralising antibody treatments while being under stress, no worsening of the MS-like symptoms occurred.

The study indicates that people exposed to chronic social conflict may be more vulnerable to infectious and autoimmune diseases due to elevated stress levels consequent dysregulation of the immune system.