Immunology

New effective treatment for inflammatory diseases found

New research conducted by the University of Liverpool and AKL Research and Development Ltd (AKLRD), published in Inflammopharmacology, highlights the potential benefits of a new drug treatment on the human body's immune response ...

Medical research

Ketostasis: nature's sweet spot

For followers of popular science news—or of the latest diet craze—the term "intermittent fasting" is decidedly trending. Each new mention of the eating plan brings with it more revelations about the health benefits it ...

Immunology

Exploring the frontiers of immunity and healing

During a 1989 lecture at the Cold Spring Harbor Symposium on Quantitative Biology, Yale School of Medicine professor Charles Janeway, MD, hypothesized the existence of an innate immune system and special receptors on immune ...

Immunology

Inflammation: part hero, part villain

For many years, inflammation was considered one of medicine's chief enemies. Experts viewed it as a side effect of illness and injury, a negative byproduct of the body's efforts to heal. One managed and banished it whenever ...

Genetics

Weight loss surgery may alter gene expression in fat tissue

Altered gene expression in fat tissue may help explain why individuals who have regained weight after weight loss surgery still experience benefits such as metabolic improvements and a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The ...

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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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