Inflammation, which is the root cause of autoimmune disorders including arthritis, Type 1 diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome and Crohn's disease, has unexpected effects on body clock function and can lead to sleep and shiftwork-type disorders, a new Northwestern Medicine study in mice found. The study was published in the journal Genes & Development. The study used a new technology -- a genetic switch -- to turn inflammation on and off in genetically modified mouse models. When researchers deactivated inflammation, the mouse was unable to tell what time it was and was unable to keep an intact rest-activity cycle. In addition to this new technology, the study was novel because, for the first time, scientists saw a link between what causes inflammation and what controls the body's clock. In inflammatory diseases, the body experiences an excess of a genetic factor known as NF-kappa beta (NFKB), the study found. NFKB is a catalyst for a set of chain reactions, or pathway, that leads to … [Read more...] about Inflammation can Lead to Circadian Sleep Disorders
Results from a phase 3 clinical trial indicate that patients who have not benefited from standard therapy for ankylosing spondylitis (AS), a chronic inflammatory disease characterized by back pain and sacroiliac-joint damage, may have another treatment option in the biologic drug ixekizumab. The findings will be presented at the American College of Rheumatology's annual meeting in Chicago (October 20-24, 2018) and simultaneously published in the ACR journal, Arthritis & Rheumatology. Approximately 30 to 40 percent of patients with AS do not achieve adequate disease control or symptom relief from tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors, the currently recommended treatment for AS. In addition, some patients may not be eligible to receive the recommended treatment due to contraindications. The cytokine IL-17 is thought to play a role in the development of AS, and IL-17 inhibitors are effective in some patients, but they have not been evaluated exclusively in patients who have not … [Read more...] about Immune Therapy Generates Promising Results in Ankylosing Spondylitis
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?
The role of the immune system — a collection of structures and processes within the body — is to protect against disease or other potentially damaging foreign bodies. When functioning properly, the immune system identifies a variety of threats, including viruses, bacteria and parasites, and distinguishes them from the body's own healthy tissue, according to Merck Manuals. Innate vs. adaptive immunity The immune system can be broadly sorted into categories: innate immunity and adaptive immunity. Innate immunity is the immune system you're born with, and mainly consists of barriers on and in the body that keep foreign threats out, according to the National Library of Medicine (NLM). Components of innate immunity include skin, stomach acid, enzymes found in tears and skin oils, mucus and the cough reflex. There are also chemical components of innate immunity, including substances called interferon and interleukin-1. Innate immunity is non-specific, meaning it doesn't … [Read more...] about Immune System: Diseases, Disorders & Function
Premature birth is the leading cause of infant death and disability in the U.S., and costs billions in dollars and heartache every year. Now, University of Connecticut researchers report in Reproductive Sciences a potential treatment that could stop many cases of premature labor and birth in their tracks. UConn Health’s Christopher Nold, an obstetrician who practices maternal-fetal medicine at Hartford Hospital, and Anthony Vella, an immunologist, were curious about the immune system’s role in premature birth. Most pregnancies last about 40 weeks. A baby born before 37 weeks may be too small to regulate body temperature or breathing, and suffer from brain bleeds or other organ troubles, as well as long-term impacts such as developmental delays and cognitive problems. In this nation alone, about 337,000 babies were born prematurely in 2016. But in other mammals premature birth is quite rare, and usually happens only if there is an infection or inflammation. The researchers … [Read more...] about Calm the Immune System, Halt Premature Birth