Forum Takes Cross Cultural Look at Inflammation

a woman lays on an exam table while the doctor leans over her and presses on her stomach

With mounting scientific evidence linking chronic inflammation to serious diseases like diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer, the topic of inflammation is high on the minds of physicians and scientists around the world. Close to 150 gathered in Salerno, Italy in October 2013 for “Understanding and Treating Inflammation: A Transcultural Approach,” a symposium co-sponsored by the Institute for Integrative Health.

Medical experts from the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and the U.S. explored conventional biomedical perspectives as well as those of traditional Chinese medicine, homeopathy, and functional medicine, among others.

“By bringing together health care professionals and researchers who have diverse backgrounds we gained new insights about the yin-yang balance of the process of inflammation,” said Institute President Brian Berman, MD. “That understanding will allow us to develop better approaches for treating patients.”

Berman moderated a session on the relationship between nutrition and inflammation. Institute Scholar Claudia Witt led the conference’s concluding workshop to identify gaps in knowledge about inflammation and patient-centered care. A consensus paper will be submitted for publication this year.

Symposium partners included Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, the European Biomedical Research Institute of Salerno, and four other Italian medical institutions and foundations.