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Chapter: The Massage Connection ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY : Lymphatic System

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The Lymphatic System, Immunity, and Aging

As an individual ages, the resistance to all types of infection is decreased.

The Lymphatic System, Immunity, and Aging

As an individual ages, the resistance to all types of infection is decreased. Malignancies are more com-mon in the elderly. The immune response to vaccines is also diminished. The incidence of autoimmune diseases increases, which may be a result of the over-all decrease in immune function. Natural killer cell activity decreases, leading to the proliferation of ab-normal cells such as cancer cells. The number of T lymphocytes diminishes with age. Both T and B lym-phocytes become less responsive to antigens; atro-phy of the thymus with resultant decrease in hor-mone secretion may play a part in this decreased response. B cell function is decreased and the quan-tity of antibodies produced when the body is chal-lenged with antigens is reduced.

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