Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Finding the genes that turn on Japanese encephalitis

Investigators have identified the specific genes that become overactive as a result of nerve cell infection with Japanese encephalitis virus. The genes activate cell receptors and signaling proteins that attract immune cells ...

Medical research

New cellular player involved in obesity discover

The prevalence of obesity, a disease considered a serious public health problem, is increasing globally. In Portugal, almost half of the population is overweight and close to one million adults suffer from obesity. Known ...

Medical research

A molecular switch for stomach disease

Infectious diseases triggered by bacteria and other microbes are the most frequent cause of human mortality around the globe. Roughly half of the world's population carries the stomach-infecting bacteria Helicobacter pylori ...

Medications

Inflammation predicts response to antidepression medication

Children and teens with bipolar depression responded better to an antipsychotic medicine if they had increased markers of inflammation in their blood, a new University of Wisconsin–Madison study shows.

Inflammatory disorders

Comparing heirloom and modern wheat effects on gut health

Amid concerns about gluten sensitivity, increasing numbers of people are avoiding wheat. Most have not been diagnosed with a wheat-related medical condition, yet they seem to feel better when they don't eat gluten-containing ...

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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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