BOSTON, May 18 (UPI) -- U.S. medical scientists say they've found environmental improvements can strengthen the physiological process of wound healing.
Researchers from the Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital and the Boston Shriners Hospital found giving rats living in isolation the opportunity to build nests led to faster and more complete healing of burn injuries than was seen in isolation-reared rats without nest-building materials.
The scientists said they also found evidence that the effect was associated with altered gene expression in stress-associated structures in the brain.
"These findings are consistent with other animal studies that show how stress and social deprivation reduce physical well being, but our study is novel in showing that the detrimental effects on physical health can be reversed by environmental stimulation" Dr. John Levine, senior author of the paper, said.
The study is reported in the online journal PLoS One.