Inflammation

Predicting who will develop multiple sclerosis

A team of investigators at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) and the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has launched a study of individuals at risk for multiple sclerosis (MS). By focusing on ...

10 hours ago
popularity12 comments 0

Inflammation (Latin, īnflammō, "I ignite, set alight") is part of the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. Inflammation is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli and to initiate the healing process. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection, even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection. Although infection is caused by a microorganism, inflammation is one of the responses of the organism to the pathogen. However, inflammation is a stereotyped response, and therefore it is considered as a mechanism of innate immunity, as compared to adaptive immunity, which is specific for each pathogen.

Without inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal. Similarly, progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, chronic inflammation can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, periodontitis, atherosclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and even cancer (e.g., gallbladder carcinoma). It is for that reason that inflammation is normally closely regulated by the body.

Inflammation can be classified as either acute or chronic. Acute inflammation is the initial response of the body to harmful stimuli and is achieved by the increased movement of plasma and leukocytes (especially granulocytes ) from the blood into the injured tissues. A cascade of biochemical events propagates and matures the inflammatory response, involving the local vascular system, the immune system, and various cells within the injured tissue. Prolonged inflammation, known as chronic inflammation, leads to a progressive shift in the type of cells present at the site of inflammation and is characterized by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.

This text uses material from Wikipedia licensed under CC BY-SA

Latest Spotlight News

Study finds possible new jet-lag treatment

Exposing people to short flashes of light while they're sleeping could provide a fast and efficient method of preventing jet lag, according to a study by researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine.

Gut environment could reduce severity of malaria

Microorganisms in the gut could play a role in reducing the severity of malaria, according to a new study co-authored by researchers at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and the University of Louisville.

Timebomb in the testicles investigated

Oxford scientists have for the first time been able to identify the origins of some severe disease-causing mutations within the testicles of healthy men. This discovery will help our understanding of how certain serious genetic ...

Study examines evolution of cancer

A novel Yale study answers age-old questions about how cancers spread by applying tools from evolutionary biology. The new insights will help scientists better understand the genetic origins of tumor metastases, and lead ...

Sleep deprivation linked to false confessions

Sleep-deprived people are much more likely to sign false confessions than rested individuals, according to a groundbreaking study that has important implications for police interrogation practices.