Immunology

Bed dust microorganisms may boost children's health

In the most extensive study of its kind, researchers from the University of Copenhagen, in collaboration with the Danish Pediatric Asthma Center at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital, have found a link between microorganisms living ...

Immunology

Study explores sleep apnea, autoimmune disease link

New research by University of Georgia scientists sheds light on why people with obstructive sleep apnea may have associated autoimmune disorders. The results could lead to better approaches to treatment and possibly new drug ...

Diabetes

Does your child have diabetes?

More than 34 million Americans are living with diabetes. And many of them are children and adolescents. Cases of Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are on the rise among those 20 and under in the U.S., according to a study earlier ...

Immunology

New study points to a better way to ward off asthma triggers

Every day, ten Americans die from asthma. While quick-acting inhalers and medications can reduce inflammation during an asthma attack, people with asthma have few tools to prevent the next attack from coming.

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Safe pregnancy is possible for women with interstitial lung disease

A new study shows that women with interstitial lung disease (ILD) related to autoimmune disease may not need to terminate their pregnancies—despite the increased risk of adverse outcomes—provided they have close monitoring ...

Genetics

Unraveling the genetic determinants of small vessel vasculitis

Autoimmune disease is fundamentally a mystery: whyever should an organism systematically set out to harm itself? Now, researchers at the University of Tsukuba have identified a genetic basis for anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic ...

Medical research

New insights into a potential target for autoimmune disease

Immune response is a balancing act: Too much can lead to inflammatory or autoimmune disease; too little could lead to a serious infection. Regulatory T cells, or Tregs, are important players in striking this balance, acting ...

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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.

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