Inflammatory disorders

'Inflamm-aging' causes loss of bone healing ability in the elderly

Increases in chronic inflammation—not the passage of time—is the main reason why injured bones do not heal as well with age. This is the finding of a study in mice and humans published March 18 in the Proceedings of the ...

Immunology

Stopping inflammation from becoming chronic

An international research team led by Friedrich Schiller University in Jena has developed a highly sensitive cell model to study the complex effects – and side effects – of anti-inflammatory drugs, with the ultimate aim ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

New research insights hold promise for kids with DMD

Prednisone, the current standard of care used to treat kids with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), reduces chronic inflammation but has harsh side effects. Eplerenone, a heart failure drug, is used in older patients to treat ...

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Inflammation

Inflammation (Latin, inflamatio, to set on fire) is the complex biological response of vascular tissues to harmful stimuli, such as pathogens, damaged cells, or irritants. It is a protective attempt by the organism to remove the injurious stimuli as well as initiate the healing process for the tissue. Inflammation is not a synonym for infection. Even in cases where inflammation is caused by infection, the two are not synonymous: infection is caused by an exogenous pathogen, while inflammation is the response of the organism to the pathogen.

In the absence of inflammation, wounds and infections would never heal and progressive destruction of the tissue would compromise the survival of the organism. However, an inflammation that runs unchecked can also lead to a host of diseases, such as hay fever, atherosclerosis, and rheumatoid arthritis. 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 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 which are present at the site of inflammation and is characterised by simultaneous destruction and healing of the tissue from the inflammatory process.

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