Autoimmune Diseases

Hacking the nervous system

When Maria Vrind, a former gymnast from Volendam in the Netherlands, found that the only way she could put her socks on in the morning was to lie on her back with her feet in the air, she had to accept that ...

May 28, 2015
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Protecting women from multiple sclerosis

An innocent mistake made by a graduate student in a Northwestern Medicine lab (she accidentally used male mice instead of female mice during an experiment) has led scientists to a novel discovery that offers ...

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Autoimmune diseases arise from an inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the immune system mistakes some part of the body as a pathogen and attacks its own cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (e.g. in autoimmune thyroiditis) or involve a particular tissue in different places (e.g. Goodpasture's disease which may affect the basement membrane in both the lung and the kidney). The treatment of autoimmune diseases is typically with immunosuppression—medication which decreases the immune response.

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