News tagged with autoimmunity

Related topics: autoimmune diseases

New findings show the impact of ancestry on health

A 'one size fits all' approach to healthcare is being called into question by a researcher at Victoria University of Wellington, who says the immune systems of Māori and Pasifika people are very different from those with ...

Jun 16, 2015
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New immunoregulation and biomarker

Clinicians at LMU have elucidated a mechanism involved in determining the lifespan of antibody-producing cells, and identified a promising new biomarker for monitoring autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis ...

Jun 12, 2015
popularity 62 comments 0

Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity is the failure of an organism to recognize its own constituent parts as self, which allows an immune response against its own cells and tissues. Any disease that results from such an aberrant immune response is termed an autoimmune disease. Autoimmunity is often caused by a lack of germ development of a target body and as such the immune response acts against its own cells and tissues. Prominent examples include Coeliac disease, diabetes mellitus type 1 (IDDM), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren's syndrome, Churg-Strauss Syndrome, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, Graves' disease, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, rheumatoid arthritis (RA), lupus and allergies. Autoimmune diseases are very often treated with steroids.

The misconception that an individual's immune system is totally incapable of recognizing self antigens is not new. Paul Ehrlich, at the beginning of the twentieth century, proposed the concept of horror autotoxicus, wherein a 'normal' body does not mount an immune response against its own tissues. Thus, any autoimmune response was perceived to be abnormal and postulated to be connected with human disease. Now, it is accepted that autoimmune responses are an integral part of vertebrate immune systems (sometimes termed 'natural autoimmunity'), normally prevented from causing disease by the phenomenon of immunological tolerance to self-antigens. Autoimmunity should not be confused with alloimmunity.

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