Inflammation is a vital part of the immune system's response to injury and infection. It is the body's way of signaling the immune system to heal and repair damaged tissue, as well as defend itself against foreign invaders, such as viruses and bacteria. Without inflammation as a physiological response, wounds would fester, and infections could become deadly. However, if the inflammatory process goes on for too long or if the inflammatory response occurs in places where it is not needed, it can become problematic. Chronic inflammation has been linked to certain diseases such as heart disease or stroke, and may also lead to autoimmune disorders, such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus. But a healthy diet and lifestyle can help keep inflammation under control. Acute inflammation Acute inflammation occurs after a cut on the knee, a sprained ankle or a sore throat. It's a short-term response with localized effects, meaning it works at the precise place where a … [Read more...] about What Is Inflammation?
Chronic inflammation causes
By Maria Conley, RDN Published 10:45 p.m. UTC Jun 4, 2018 Seemingly every day, a new headline suggests inflammation is the root cause of disease. And while some inflammation is necessary – and healthy – most Americans are battling chronic inflammation, which isn’t healthy. If you get injured or sick, your immune system launches an inflammatory response for protection. Trouble is, over time, unresolved inflammation can wreak havoc on your body, and even contribute to chronic diseases such as heart disease, autoimmune disorders, asthma or diabetes. What causes inflammation? Poor diet, environmental toxins and stress contribute to inflammatory processes. And since we live in a convenience food culture that prioritizes bacon, sugar and chips over blueberries and spinach, it’s no surprise that Americans are suffering. Our dietary decisions lead to inflammation, weight gain and pain. I think of it like a fire. You can help squelch that fire by improving your … [Read more...] about Inflammation and your diet: What’s the connection?
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic lung disease that makes breathing progressively more difficult. The disease affects about 11 million people in the United States, and it is the third leading cause of death in the country, according to the American Lung Association. COPD is considered the intersection of three related conditions: chronic bronchitis, chronic asthma and emphysema, Dr. Neal Chaisson, who practices pulmonary medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, told Live Science. Symptoms COPD makes it harder to breathe by reducing the flow of air through the lungs. Reduced airflow may be caused by inflammation (airways may thicken and lose elastic quality), destroyed lung tissue and blockages of mucus, according to the American Lung Association. Symptoms of COPD are often more pronounced over time and don't appear until the patient is around 40 years old. Often, people don't recognize the symptoms of COPD until later stages of the disease. According … [Read more...] about COPD: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Allogeneic bone marrow transplant (BMT) is an essential treatment to cure patients with blood cancers such as leukemia. In patients who have undergone chemotherapy and radiation, a small number of cancer cells can remain in the bloodstream and allow the malignancy to recur. Replacing host bone marrow is the best strategy for preventing relapse but recipients cannot always find an ideal, biologically matched donor. The less well-matched the donor, the higher the risk for developing graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In GVHD, donor cells trigger an immune response that attacks normal tissues, leading to a chain reaction of cellular and molecular responses that increase morbidity and mortality in these patients. A long-standing question has been how to improve the success of BMT by reducing GVHD incidence while, at the same time, preserving the anti-tumor response of donor cells. New research by a team of investigators at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) directed by … [Read more...] about Uncovering a Mechanism Causing Chronic Graft-Vs-Host Disease After Bone Marrow Transplant
Cells in the nervous system can "put the brakes" on the immune response to infections in the gut and lungs to prevent excessive inflammation, according to research by Weill Cornell Medicine scientists. This insight may one day lead to new ways to treat diseases caused by unchecked inflammation, such as asthma and inflammatory bowel disease. The study, published March 1 in Science, provides some clues about what might be going wrong in these diseases, which have become more common in industrialized countries, and in helminth infections, which are still a major public health problem in less-industrialized countries. It also may explain how some existing treatments for diseases like asthma work and point to new treatment strategies. "There is a crosstalk between the nervous system and the immune system, and that plays an important role in regulating acute and chronic inflammation," said Dr. David Artis, director of the Jill Roberts Institute for Research in Inflammatory Bowel Disease … [Read more...] about Nervous System Puts the Brakes on Inflammation