Overweight & Obesity

Variation of FTO gene linked to weight gain and obesity in children

Researchers have discovered that children who do not have obesity, but who are at risk for the chronic disease due to a common genetic variant eat more, according to a new study to be published in the June 2019 issue of Obesity.

Medical research

Monkey-infecting virus may provide part of future HIV vaccine

A protein from Simian Immunodeficiency Virus (SIV), which can infect monkeys and apes, has shown promise as a potential component of a vaccine against Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), in a new study from scientists at ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Susceptibility to disease develops during childhood

The human immune system forms during childhood. The "hygiene hypothesis" provides a widely regarded perspective on this. It postulates that improved hygiene, changes in agriculture and urbanization have caused our immune ...

Immunology

The lungs never forget: Specialised T-cells remember allergens

According to a current study of the Medical University Vienna, specialised T memory lymphocytes in the lungs that react to inhaled allergens, cause attacks of allergic asthma. These T-helper 2-tissue resident memory cells, ...

Genetics

Researchers discover new disease

A new immunodeficiency disease caused by a novel genetic mutation has been identified by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus providing unique insights into cell biology.

Immunology

Confidence in asthma inhaler technique doesn't match actual skills

Many children with asthma think they are using their asthma inhaler medications correctly when they are not. This makes it very difficult to keep their asthma under control. A new study in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, ...

Genetics

Owning a dog is influenced by genetic make-up

A team of Swedish and British scientists have studied the heritability of dog ownership using information from 35,035 twin pairs from the Swedish Twin Registry. The new study suggests that genetic variation explains more ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Team finds biomarkers to diagnose serious kidney allergic reaction

A team led by Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers says it has identified two protein biomarkers in urine that may one day be used to better diagnose acute interstitial nephritis (AIN), an underdiagnosed but treatable kidney ...

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An allergy is a hypersensitivity disorder of the immune system. Allergic reactions occur when a person's immune system reacts to normally harmless substances in the environment. A substance that causes a reaction is called an allergen. These reactions are acquired, predictable, and rapid. Allergy is one of four forms of hypersensitivity and is formally called type I (or immediate) hypersensitivity. Allergic reactions are distinctive because of excessive activation of certain white blood cells called mast cells and basophils by a type of antibody called Immunoglobulin E (IgE). This reaction results in an inflammatory response which can range from uncomfortable to dangerous.

Mild allergies like hay fever are very common in the human population and cause symptoms such as red eyes, itchiness, and runny nose, eczema, hives, hay fever, or an asthma attack. Allergies can play a major role in conditions such as asthma. In some people, severe allergies to environmental or dietary allergens or to medication may result in life-threatening reactions called anaphylaxis. Food allergies, and reactions to the venom of stinging insects such as wasps and bees are often associated with these severe reactions.

A variety of tests exist to diagnose allergic conditions. These include placing possible allergens on the skin and looking for a reaction such as swelling. Blood tests can also be done to look for an allergen-specific IgE.

Treatments for allergies include avoiding known allergens, use of medications such as anti-histamines that specifically prevent allergic reactions, steroids that modify the immune system in general, and medications such as decongestants that reduce the symptoms. Many of these medications are taken by mouth, though epinephrine, which is used to treat anaphylactic reactions, is injected. Immunotherapy uses injected allergens to desensitize the body's response.

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