Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

2013 Edition
| Editors: Marc D. Gellman, J. Rick Turner

Inflammation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-1005-9_25

Definition

The term “inflammation” is derived from the Latin inflammare which translates to “to set on fire.” Inflammation as a process is a component of the overall immune response against invading pathogens and/or tissue damage. A local inflammatory response at a site of a wound and/or infection is characterized by the classical symptoms calor (heat), rubor (redness), dolor (pain), tumor (swelling), and functio laesa(loss of function). These symptoms are the result of the inflammatory response system being activated in the affected tissue. More specifically, the inflammatory response is started by local resident cells of the innate immune system, which secrete inflammatory mediators and other effector substances. These substances induce vasodilation (dilation of the blood vessels), which allows increased blood flow to the affected area and also causes rubor and calor. Related to this, an increased permeability of the blood vessel walls allows plasma exudation (transfer of blood...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyBrandeis UniversityWalthamUSA