News tagged with autoimmunity

Related topics: autoimmune diseases

Mysterious esophagus disease is autoimmune after all

(Medical Xpress)—Achalasia is a rare disease – it affects 1 in 100,000 people – characterized by a loss of nerve cells in the esophageal wall. While its cause remains unknown, a new study by a team of researchers at ...

Jul 22, 2014
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The pros and cons of going gluten-free

The number of Americans adopting gluten-free diets has grown dramatically over the past several years. Some avoid eating wheat, barley, and rye because they have an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease, ...

Jul 16, 2014
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Unsuspected aspect of immune regulation revealed

Until now, the immune cells known as 'B cells' have been thought to specialise only in the production of antibodies. A discovery by Garvan immunologists shows they also have a role to play in regulating another ...

Jul 01, 2014
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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.

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