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The Highest Level Of Science

KPNI Congress 2024

From PNI to Immunoneuropsychology &
From Nature to Culture

Celebrating 35 years of Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology

2-3 of March 2024
Antwerp, Belgium
English & Dutch- Translation available

This weekend is much more than an ordinary congress, it is a celebration!

35 years ago marked the beginning of an extraordinary journey, a journey which has been filled with countless breakthroughs which today are benefiting people all over the world. 

This field of science and medicine has shifted the definition of health and disease of anyone who has crossed its path, but there is much more to be shared and there is no end to what we can achieve together.

Dr. Leo Pruimboom, the founder of clinical psychoneuroimmunology, along with renowned speakers from many countries, will share their most profound discoveries over this 2 days congress.

Celebrate this significant milestone with us, and discover what the future of clinical psychoneuroimmunology holds for us.


On the 2nd and 3rd of March 2024.


BluePoint Antwerpen, Filip Williotstraat 9, 2600 Berchem.


Basic: 417 Euros – includes lunch.
Limited VIP Tickets: 527 Euros -includes a 4 course dinner, wine and drinks. + 1 Hour of Q & A.

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    Dr. Leo Pruimboom
    Dr. Leo Pruimboom is the director of the Pruimboom Institute and Foundation. He is the founder of KPNI, clinical psychoneuroimmunology, which he has been developing for over 3 decades. He is an internationally recognised researcher and lecturer and has spoken at over 200 congresses worldwide. Furthermore, he is also responsible for developing the Intermittent Living concept, written 6 books and chapters, and published over 35 research papers.
    2nd March
    Why we prevail
    Clinical PNI set the pace for transformation of medicine many years ago.

    Nonetheless, there are still many medical and paramedical health officers that do not ‘believe’ that toxic emotion can produce all kinds of diseases.
    We even find this in oncology as most oncologists tell people that their cancer has got nothing to do with food, emotions, social defeat, or any other factor related with LIFE. The focus on genetic mutations as the sole cause of cancer has delayed the possibility of finding solutions related with changes in LIFE.
    The immune system and the brain are THE systems responsible for the surveillance of all 10 biological systems that we are made of. Very often both systems are described separately as if they do not communicate with each other. Studies that show connection between both super systems mostly conclude that they are responsible for protective functions. Although the latter conclusion has thorough scientific support, it underestimates the fact that both the immune system and the brain only can function in the right way when they are connected. This means that interruption of the connectome between the brain and the immune system, composed of neurological, endocrinological and musculoskeletal structures and substances, is responsible for most, if not all, chronic diseases that aren’t solved by today’s interventions.
    The best thing is to use an erroneous hypothesis related to longevity.
    The studies that lead to the definition of the blue zones came to the conclusion that food, exercise, good sleep, CHRONIC calorie restriction (Okinawa, Japon). and the maintenance of social contact are the major reasons for people living to reach hundred years or more. However, if food and all these factors were the sole reasons for longevity, then there is no explanation for centenarians that do not live in the blue zones, but in other countries such as the Netherlands, Finland, Spain and even the USA. People who often smoked, drank quite a bit of alcohol, had few or no children, an unhealthy diet and still lived more than 100 years.
    So, what could be the reason for that longevity?
    Did they perhaps engage in exercise? Or did they have some ‘longevity’ genes? The surprising answer to these questions is No! No exercise program nor longevity genes have been found up till today.
    So, what is then the reason for the fact that these people reach 100 years or more? Could it be that they maintain the capacity of communication between the brain and the immune system and hence prevent Low Grade Inflammation? Which is one of the most important causes for non-successful aging. Are they perhaps resistant to depression? Or are they rich? Could that be the reason they live so long? Are they obese? I suppose not!
    A few answers can be given, but the most important one is:
    They have not lost the connection between the brain, the immune system and, perhaps unexpectedly, the urogenital organs. Surprised? Then just wait until you see, hear and feel the scientific soundness of how our health span only can be increased through the maintenance or restoration of the connection between these three systems, which ultimately are responsible for the fact that we prevail.

    3rd March
    Medicine started with the occurrence of life!

    Although no MD was present when a Lamprey was attacked by a virus, the little worm was able to fight the virus and prevail. My great, great, great, great grandfather once suffered from a severe infection when he was on a boat travelling from Indonesia to Holland. Once again there were no MDs on board and yet he survived. Someone gave him an herb and said that that would cure him. For whatever reason he survived, and I am here because of that. Many people suffer from diseases and don’t heal, although medicine has advanced without any doubt. Some people never heal, whereas others even heal spontaneously while suffering from cancer. Even more surprisingly, some people never develop any chronic disease and live up to 90 or 100 years with a smile on their face. Those are the people who should be investigated as the most interesting non-patients in our population. WEIRD people are not the right group to investigate. They without a doubt will develop some disease, sooner or later. Nonetheless, in this group of WEIRD people, there are exceptions. And those are the ones you will get to know during this congress. Those people explain why PNI should probably be called INP.
    Itziar Hernandez
    Itziar Hernandez holds a master’s degree in Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology and in currently doing a master in Personalized Nutrition. She is a lecturer and scientific director at PNI Europe where she takes part in the development of academic content. Previously, she was the CEO of her own practice and has worked as a clinical therapist for over 15 years.
    A new perspective on the endogenous opioid system and its immune-neuro-psychological implications: From mental disorders to immune-related diseases and cancer. We will revisit the opioid system from an immune-neuro-psychological perspective, where complex interactions between the brain and the immune system, text and context take place in order to address an important evolutionary question: Are we safe? What does safety mean in the light of evolution? Not only does the evolutionary viewpoint reframe our understanding of this system, but also brings together the search for “safety and security” and pleasure. Matching our evolutionary goals: avoidance of suffering, searching for pleasure and energy conservation. Human cultural and technological development have gone through a tremendous breakthrough in the last couple of centuries, and as a consequence the so-called Anthropocene is testing our capacity for adaptation by causing an extreme amount of changes in a short period of time. Endogenous opioid peptides are highly context-dependent and are released in response to “natural reward stimuli”, yet modern-day natural stimuli are anything but normal. Social defeat, chronic social or economic stress, along with a sum of environmental cues such as chemicals, toxins, sedentary lifestyle or sleep deprivation does not only influence our physiology, but also our interpretation of the environment. This affects the opioid balance, which in turn increases the reactivity of our immune and neurological responses by making a “non-dangerous signal” dangerous. This mismatch leads to a chronic misbalance of this system, where susceptible people might develop multiple chronic pathologies. The opioid system therefore offers us new promising intermittent receptor interventions as immunomodulators in multiple immune-related diseases, chronic pain, malignant tumours, as well as alleviating symptoms of several mental disorders.
    Professor Charles Raison, M.D.
    Prof. Raison is an internationally recognized psychiatrist. He has several academic positions at reputable universities and over 100 (co)-publications to his name. He also serves as the mental health expert for
    Mental health clinicians usually see their primary responsibility and goal as making their patients as emotionally and physically comfortable as possible, and often this is exactly the right clinical path to pursue. But this lecture will add nuance to this standard of clinical care by describing how humans evolved to require certain types of adaptive stressors to function optimally, not just physically, but also emotionally. From this perspective, the replacement of these types of stressors with the more chronic and diffuse psychological and physical stressors in the modern world goes a long way toward explaining the ongoing increase in depression and anxiety that plague our time in history. Recognition of this situation is widespread and undergirds recommendations that we should all reduce our stress. This talk takes a different tack and explores ways in which judiciously exposing our patients to certain types of adaptive stressors may provide novel therapeutic benefits. The talk demonstrates this idea by focusing on two very different, highly novel, adaptive stressor-based treatments for depression: psychedelics and whole body hyperthermia. In addition to discussing evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits of these treatments, this talk will explore the mechanisms by which these treatments may work, including acute immune responses and the causal capacity of transformational (but often stressful) conscious experiences.
    Tom Fox
    Tom Fox is movement scientist, naturopath and therapist in clinical psychoneuroimmunology. He is CEO of KPNI Germany, and also leads his own practice. He has (co)authored scientific publications and lectured on a range of topics related to KPNI.
    The role of mitochondria in homeostatic adaptation – a new perspective Mitochondria are cellular organelles existing in eukaryotic cells to support and improve their energy production. As human cells, mostly depending on their specific function, have different energetic requirements their amount of mitochondria differs, which eventuates in differences concerning the ability to produce ATP: the more mitochondria – the higher the ATP production. Dysfunctional mitochondria or low amounts of these organelles can be responsible for several kinds of chronic diseases – whereby the term ‚mitochondriopathy‘ often is used. Research has shown that mitochondria are not only energy supporters, but also play an emerging role in intracellular communication. Under different circumstances they produce signals that have influence on cell metabolism and cell-cell communication. When our body has to alter homeostatic regulation, gets under stress or upregulates immunological activity changes in mitochondrial signalling occur. This allocates a new role to mitochondria as an own signal-system releasing substances called mitokines. Thus mitochondria can be seen as an additional system not only having influence on health and disease, but also behavior. Finally, recent research has shown that this communicational system not only works with mitokines, but also with complex mitochondrial structures: extracellular mitochondria. We are not alone.
    Professor Dr. Frits Muskiet
    Prof. dr. Frits Muskiet is professor emeritus of pathophysiology and clinical chemical analysis. He has been (co)advisor of 32 PhD students and has (co)authored more than 280 PubMed registered publications.
    There is definitely a relation between (LDL) cholesterol and coronary atherosclerotic disease (CAD). Cholesterol-ester accumulation in the vessel wall is a major factor in the formation of an ‘unstable plaque’ that is at the root of a myocardial infarction. There is also definitely a relation between cholesterol lowering with statins and lower CAD risk. But all of these well-established facts are not evidence of cholesterol as the primary CAD cause. There is even- well-established evidence that some drugs and nutrients increase (LDL) cholesterol while lowering CAD risk (SGLT2i, ketogenic diet, fish oil), and also of the opposite (hormone replacement therapy). That CAD is an inflammatory disease was first suggested in 1856. Targeting of the pro-inflammatory cytokine IL-1beta has convincingly proven causality. A major discovery by Hotamisligil was that inflammation and metabolism are intimately related. It made clear that an unhealthy lifestyle gives rise to (low grade) inflammation via danger signals (LAMPS), and that the ensuing change of cholesterol metabolism is secondary to a primary inflammatory culprit. Acute inflammation not only changes cholesterol metabolism, for all good reasons, but drives adjustment of virtually all hormonal axes. The resulting ‘allostatic condition’ is meant for the short term but becomes a danger when chronic. The chronic counterpart is known as the ‘metabolic syndrome’ and by other names like ‘insulin resistance syndrome’ and ‘inflammaging’. It is widespread in the population and was mistaken for ‘homo sapiens physiology’. It thereby became the basis of many well-intended dietary recommendations for genuinely healthy people that were issued by respectable organizations. Examples are: lower intake of saturated fat, cholesterol and sodium, and replacement of saturated fat by polyunsaturated fat, notably linoleic acid. Misinterpretation of what was originally meant with ‘Evidence Based Medicine’ subsequently saddled us with too low recommendations for nutrients like fish oil, selenium and too high for calcium, to name just a few. These introduced additional disbalances, like a low magnesium and omega-3/omega 6 status. By showing that inflammation deliberately deposits cholesterol in our vessels, this presentation makes an attempt to find our genuine physiology as an equilibrium between pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory factors in our lifestyle. A disbalanced inflammatory state is probably at the basis of many chronic degenerative diseases, for instance also those of the brain. Only by intervention high in the pathophysiological cascade, will we be fully successful in both their primary and secondary prevention. The basic problem is that we still do not fully understand what Darwin has meant with ‘adaptation to the conditions of existence’, which in 2011 became the basis of what is nowadays widely regarded as the best definition of ‘health’.
    Martijn van Raamsdonk
    Martijn van Raamsdonk has a master`s degree both in Clinical psychoneuroimmunology and Manual therapy. He is a renowned international lecturer and teacher for the Pruimboom Institute. On top of that, Martijn is also an expert in elite sports, and has extensive experience working with both Olympic athletes and national teams.
    Can you help me to get rid of my pain?” is still one of the most frequently asked questions in healthcare. It’s not only disabling for the individual, but also leaves practitioners with big question marks, because in many cases they don’t have a good treatment strategy. The many articles written in the past decennia describe a myriad of mostly psychological and neuro endocrinological pathways. And although these pathways give a good insight to the different mechanisms involved in chronic pain. They didn’t help to reduce the burden of chronic pain in the Western society, where still 20% of the people are suffering from chronic pain. Why is chronic pain in 2023 still a stubborn condition? Are we missing the bigger picture? Martijn will take a deep dive into this matter. He will describe the role of the immune system, perinatal imprinting and the role of the microbiome. With the aim of providing a clinical PNI explanation of chronic pain. And thereby new treatment options for the future.
    Daniel de la Serna
    Msc. Daniel de la Serna has both a Master’s in clinical psychoneuroimmunology and in Physical Anthropology- evolution and human variability. He is co-director of the Spanish Institute of Clinical Psychoneuroimmunology as well as an international lecturer and teacher in this field. Furthermore, Daniel works as an associate professor at IE University as part of the IE Center for Health, Well-Being and Happiness.
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a serious debilitating condition that imposes a burden of illness on millions of people around the world. Somewhere between 896.000 and 9.8 million Europeans are estimated to have this disorder which is characterized by profound fatigue and symptoms associated with autonomic, immunological, neuroendocrinological and psychological manifestations including pain, post-exertional malaise and sleep disturbances. Both the central nervous system and the immune system underlie this complex condition. The immune and nervous systems' interplay should be viewed as the consequence of interactions among social, demographic, economic, and ecological factors that are characteristic of today's human culture. CFS is characterized by both social and infectious factors that can cause chronic responses by boosting the brain and immune system's activity, resulting in exhaustion and maladaptation of the organism. In this talk we will review from a psychoneuroimmunological perspective the state of the art regarding this pathology, show the complex interaction between the different risk factors and the main mechanisms of action and how they condition the relationship.
    Jan-Pieter Konsman
    Inflammation-driven neuropsychiatric comorbidity: A basic (and philosophy of) science view

    J. P. Konsman, ImmunoConcEpT CNRS UMR 51264, Univ. Bordeaux, France

    J.P. Konsman is a senior scientist at the French National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS). His experimental research has focused on unraveling the neuroimmune mechanisms underlying anorexia and apathy during systemic inflammation and cancer. In addition, and as an aspiring philosopher of science and medicine, J. P. Konsman is interested in the conceptual aspects of mind-body and health and disease debates. His current work aims to provide a basic science and philosophy of science and medicine view on the idea that inflammation can drive neuropsychiatric comorbidity. To do so, a broad- stroke conceptual history of interactions between basic and clinical research will be presented that will address how 1) inflammation accompanies psychosomatic diseases and mental disorders, 2) experimental inflammation modifies behavior and mood and discuss work on 3) inflammatory biomarkers in mental disorder and 4) the effects of anti-inflammatory strategies on neuropsychiatric comorbidities.
    Robert Verkerk BSc MSc DIC PhD FACN
    Founder, Alliance for Natural Health
    Executive & Scientific Director Alliance for Natural Health International & Alliance for Natural Health USA

    Rob Verkerk PhD is a multi-disciplinary scientist, researcher, educator, regulatory expert and campaigner with nearly 40 years of experience in the non-profit sector, academia and as a consultant. He has a MSc and PhD from Imperial College London in the field of sustainable agriculture where he continued as a postdoctoral research fellow for a further 7 years, working on projects in Eastern and Southern Africa, as well as Central and South-East Asia. In 2002, Dr Verkerk founded the non-profit Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) International ( and has acted as its executive and scientific director since. ANH has been at the forefront of protecting and promoting natural and regenerative health approaches internationally. As of April 2023, after being ANH-USA’s scientific director for 15 years, Dr Verkerk also took on the role as the organisation’s executive and scientific director. Dr Verkerk has authored more than 60 papers in scientific journals and conference proceedings, is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition, and is scientific advisor to the UK-based integrative cancer charity, Yes to Life.
    What you can’t see that can heal or harm
    For nearly a century, medicine has been heavily influenced by a biochemical perspective of human health, which has in turn led to the dominance of pharmaceutical interventions in medical practice. More recently, inspired by the completion in 2003 of the Human Genome Project and the subsequent availability of rapid sequencing technologies, genomic medicine has emerged as a pivotal frontier of medicine. Other fields of biological research have had little emphasis in medicine despite evidence of their seminal importance to human evolution and health. These include frontiers as diverse and varied as water science, acoustics, biophotonics, and the effects of electrical, magnetic and electromagnetic fields. Dr Verkerk will draw on emerging science in these and related areas, discuss evidence for mechanisms of action (beneficial and potentially harmful) on the psychoneuroendocrinoimmunological (PNEI) supersystem, and he will offer clinical interventions informed by an understanding of these under-emphasised fields in the health sciences.


    2nd of March
    08.00 – 09.15
    09.15 – 09.30    
    09.30 – 10.30     
    Leo Pruimboom
    10.30 – 11.00     
    Sitting break & Coffee
    11.00 – 11.15     
    Diamond congress sponsor
    11.15 – 12.15
    Tom Fox
    12.15 – 12.30     
    Sitting break
    12.30 – 13.30    
    13.30 – 14.30     
    Frits Muskiet
    14.30 – 15.00     
    Sitting break & Coffee
    15.00 – 15.15     
    Diamond congress sponsor
    15.15 – 16.45
    Charles Raison
    PNI Apero
    Dinner – VIP
    3rd of March
    08.00 – 09.00
    Q & A- VIP
    09.15 – 10.00
    Martijn van Raamsdonk
    10.00 – 10.45
    Itziar Hernandez
    10.45 – 11.15
    Sitting break & Coffee
    11.15 – 11.30
    Diamond congress sponsor
    11.30 – 12.30     
    Robert Verkerk
    12.30 – 13.30
    13.30 – 14.45
    Lucile Capuron
    14.45 – 15.30
    Daniel de La Serna
    15.30 – 16.00
    Sitting break & Coffee
    16.00 – 17.00
    Leo Pruimboom
    17.00 – 17.15
    Closing of Congress
    “Every disease is doomed to be cured in the end”

    Leo Pruimboom – Director of the Pruimboom Institute

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