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Autoimmune Disorders News

Nearly 3 Percent of U.S. Adults Have Weakened Immunity: Study

Posted 28 Oct 2016 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, Oct. 28, 2016 – A new study reports that about 3 percent of people surveyed in the United States have a suppressed, or weakened, immune system. The statistics offer insight into the number of Americans who have immunity-suppressing conditions such as AIDS or take drugs that treat autoimmune disorders by weakening the immune system, the researchers said. The researchers believe these numbers are rising because of medical advances allowing immunosuppressed patients to live longer. Dr. Rafael Harpaz of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention led the study. "Tracking immunosuppression over time is particularly important given the hundreds of clinical trials now under way to assess the use of immunosuppressive treatments for prevention or mitigation of common chronic diseases in highly prevalent risk groups," Harpaz and his colleagues wrote. The study authors explained ... Read more

Related support groups: HIV Infection, Autoimmune Disorders, Immunosuppression, Immunodeficiency

Gene Therapy May Offer Hope for 'Bubble Boy' Disease

Posted 20 Apr 2016 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 20, 2016 – A new gene therapy shows preliminary promise against so-called "Bubble Boy" disease, researchers report. A small, early-stage trial assessed the safety and effectiveness of the gene therapy in five patients with Bubble Boy disease, formally known as severe combined immunodeficiency disease (SCID). Previous bone marrow transplants had failed to correct their immune function. SCID is a severe, inherited disorder that affects males and occurs in 1 in every 50,000 to 100,000 live births. It is caused by a mutation in the IL2RG gene that leaves boys with little or no immune system protection, the researchers said. According to the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, SCID is fatal, often within the first year or two of life, unless infants receive immune-restoring treatments, such as transplants of blood-forming stem cells, gene therapy or ... Read more

Related support groups: Autoimmune Disorders, Immunosuppression, Immunodeficiency, Diagnosis and Investigation

Genetic Abnormality May Explain Health Complications of Down Syndrome

Posted 14 Dec 2015 by Drugs.com

MONDAY, Dec. 14, 2015 – People with Down syndrome have long been known to face a higher risk for a range of other illnesses, including heart disease, diabetes and immune disorders. Now, a new study has honed in on a possible cause: too much of a specific gene that disturbs the peripheral nervous system. The peripheral nervous system is involved in basic organ-related activities. These activities include heartbeat, blood pressure and blood sugar levels, the Johns Hopkins University researchers explained. They looked at tissue samples from both mice and people with Down syndrome. They found that those with Down syndrome carry three times the normal amount of a certain gene called RCAN1. This particular gene helps regulate a protein known as "nerve growth factor." Excess amounts of RCAN1 lower the activity of nerve growth factor, the researchers observed. And that change led to impaired ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Seizures, Heart Disease, Down Syndrome, Diabetes, Type 1, Seizure Prevention, Insulin Resistance, Autoimmune Disorders, Pre-Diabetes, Seizure Prophylaxis, Diabetes Mellitus, Ischemic Heart Disease, Abnormal Glucose Tolerance, Trisomy 18

Childhood Cancer Tied to Raised Risk for Other Ills in Adult Life

Posted 11 Nov 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 11, 2015 – Childhood cancer survivors are at increased risk for diabetes and other autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. "Cure is no longer a sufficient goal in childhood cancer care," the researchers wrote. "As the vast majority of these patients survive, attention must be paid to their long-term quality of life and health challenges." In the study, the investigators analyzed data from more than 20,000 adults in Denmark, Iceland and Sweden, who had cancer before the age of 20 and survived for at least one year, and compared them to nearly 126,000 adults who did not have childhood cancer. Over an average follow-up of 15 to 19 years, 3.6 percent of childhood cancer survivors were treated in a hospital at least once for an autoimmune disease. That rate is 40 percent higher than among the adults who did not have childhood cancer, according to Dr. Anna Sallfors ... Read more

Related support groups: Diabetes, Type 2, Cancer, Leukemia, Autoimmune Disorders, Brain Tumor, Hodgkin's Lymphoma

Gene Therapy Shows Promise for Rare Immune Disorder

Posted 22 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2015 – Gene therapy may benefit children and teens with a rare immune disorder called Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, a small study finds. The disorder – characterized by low blood platelet count, eczema and recurring infections – is caused by mutations in what's known as the WAS gene. People with the disorder generally die by their 20s or 30s. Blood stem cell transplants from other people can help these patients, but they have a high rate of complications. This study looked at a therapy in which the patient's own blood stem cells are removed to correct the WAS gene. The blood stem cells are then injected back into the patient. The gene therapy was performed in seven children and teens with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome. They were then followed for nine to 42 months. One patient died of a preexisting infectious disease. The six surviving patients had fewer infections, less ... Read more

Related support groups: Autoimmune Disorders

Remote Amazon Tribe Members Have Greater Germ Diversity in Their Bodies

Posted 17 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

FRIDAY, April 17, 2015 – In a discovery that could eventually shed light on some diseases that plague modern society, a tribe in a remote part of the Amazon jungle in Venezuela appears to have the most diverse collection of bodily bacteria ever found. The study suggests that modern living has decreased the diversity of the typical Westerner's "microbiome" – the trillions of bacteria and other microbes that normally dwell in the body. And that could be having wide-ranging consequences for people's health, researchers say. In particular, there is growing evidence that a less-diverse microbiome may contribute to disorders related to the immune system and metabolism, said Maria Gloria Dominguez-Bello, the senior researcher on the study and an associate professor of medicine at NYU Langone Medical Center, in New York City. Those conditions include obesity, asthma, and autoimmune diseases ... Read more

Related support groups: Gastrointestinal Disorders, Autoimmune Disorders, Cardiovascular Risk Reduction

Mouse Study Suggests Immune Disorder May Play Role in Alzheimer's

Posted 14 Apr 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, April 14, 2015 – An immune system disorder may play a role in the development of Alzheimer's disease, research in mice suggests. Duke University researchers found that in a mouse model of Alzheimer's, something goes wrong with certain immune cells that normally protect the brain, and the cells start to consume an important nutrient called arginine. In mice, treatment with a drug called difluoromethylornithine (DFMO) blocked these immune cells from consuming arginine and prevented the brain plaques and memory loss associated with Alzheimer's. However, findings in animals are not always duplicated in humans. The study was published April 15 in the Journal of Neuroscience. "If indeed arginine consumption is so important to the disease process, maybe we could block it and reverse the disease," senior study author Carol Colton, a professor of neurology and a member of the Duke ... Read more

Related support groups: Alzheimer's Disease, Autoimmune Disorders

'Ground Zero' Workers at Risk of Autoimmune Diseases: Study

Posted 19 Mar 2015 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, March 19, 2015 – Recovery workers who toiled at the World Trade Center disaster site may face a heightened risk of rheumatoid arthritis and similar autoimmune diseases, a new study suggests. The findings, reported online March 16 in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology, add to the list of potential health effects seen among responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in New York City. Past studies have found increased rates of respiratory diseases, such as asthma and chronic bronchitis, as well as some forms of cancer. The new study is the first to find an increased risk of certain autoimmune disorders, the researchers say. Autoimmune diseases arise when the immune system launches an abnormal attack on the body's own tissue. The conditions seen in this study – which also included lupus and systemic sclerosis – affect joints, muscles and connective tissue throughout the body. ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Autoimmune Disorders

Mercury in Seafood May Raise Risk of Autoimmune Diseases in Women: Study

Posted 10 Feb 2015 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Feb. 10, 2015 – The mercury found in some seafood may be linked to autoimmune disorders among women of childbearing age, new research suggests. Autoimmune diseases develop when the body's immune response goes awry and starts to attack healthy cells. Such diseases include lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, inflammatory bowel disease and "Sjogren's syndrome." All told, these diseases affect roughly 50 million Americans, most of whom are women, the University of Michigan researchers said. "We don't have a very good sense of why people develop autoimmune disorders," study author Emily Somers said in a university news release. "A large number of cases are not explained by genetics," she added, "so we believe studying environmental factors will help us understand why autoimmunity happens and how we may be able to intervene to improve health outcomes. In our study, ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Multiple Sclerosis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Sjogren's Syndrome, Lupus Erythematosus, Mercury Poisoning

'Bubble Boy' Disease May Be More Common Than Thought

Posted 20 Aug 2014 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Aug. 19, 2014 – A rare birth disorder that dismantles a baby's immune system is twice as common as once believed, a new study of more than 3 million infants says. This is the first evaluation of the effect of screening newborns for the life-threatening but treatable condition known as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), or "Bubble Boy" disease, the researchers noted. "People were made aware of this condition by the boy in the bubble, who was born without an immune system," said study author Dr. Jennifer Puck, a pediatric immunologist at Benioff Children's Hospital at the University of California, San Francisco. She was referring to the case of David Vetter, a Texas boy born in 1971 who lived in a sterile plastic bubble until he died at age 12. "Before there were good treatments, he had to spend his life in a germ-free environment. But since that time, there are treatments ... Read more

Related support groups: Autoimmune Disorders

Mouse Study May Explain Link Between Clogged Arteries, Immune Dysfunction

Posted 9 Jan 2014 by Drugs.com

THURSDAY, Jan. 9, 2014 – New research in mice suggests that a molecule linked to clogged arteries might activate the immune system to the point where it harms the body. The findings may explain why clogged arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis, have been tied to autoimmune disorders, which develop when the immune system goes awry. "The lesson from this study is that immune diseases are not always a matter of immune system alone," said senior study author Yeonseok Chung, of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. "With our findings, we have just started to understand how factors in the circulatory system impact the immune system." Levels of the molecule in question, oxidized low-density lipoprotein (oxLDL), rise when the immune system is activated. The study authors wondered if this might have a bearing on why people with autoimmune conditions, such as psoriasis ... Read more

Related support groups: Autoimmune Disorders

Man's Best Friend Points the Way in Genetic Research

Posted 15 Aug 2012 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 15 – Dogs may soon become man's best friend on a level that goes far beyond companionship and loyalty. Researchers report that the canine genome, similar in many ways to the human one, is starting to shed light on a wide range of human diseases. What makes dogs particularly interesting to scientists is their breed structure – a type of artificial selection – which creates distinct and diverse lines of animals that range from the muscular German shepherd to the nervous Chihuahua, from the hard-working collie to the perpetually pampered poodle. According to a review article published Aug. 16 in the New England Journal of Medicine, the fact that most purebred dogs have descended from small, closely related parentage with large litters means recessive diseases are common among them. To those interested in genetics, that's exciting. It makes less common recessive diseases ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Osteoarthritis, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, Epilepsy, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Autoimmune Disorders, Lupus Erythematosus, Retinal Disorders

Shingles Vaccine Safe for Those With Autoimmune Diseases: Study

Posted 3 Jul 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, July 3 – For those suffering from the chronic skin disorder psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases, a new study finds the shingles vaccine appears to be both safe and effective. It had been thought the vaccine might boost the risk of developing shingles in these patients, the researchers explained. "The findings are reassuring for a very specific group of patients," said Dr. Bruce Hirsch, an attending physician in infectious diseases at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, N.Y., who was not involved in the study. "Patients who have weak immune systems are vulnerable to getting shingles and the shingles vaccine is a live vaccine," he added. The study looked at patients with rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (an inflammation of the spine), or inflammatory bowel disease. The risk is that patients with these conditions are ... Read more

Related support groups: Psoriasis, Autoimmune Disorders, Zostavax, Zoster Vaccine Live

More Known About Proteins That Cause Autoimmune Diseases

Posted 17 Jan 2012 by Drugs.com

TUESDAY, Jan. 17 – A new study says more than 32 million people in the United States have autoantibodies, which are proteins produced in the immune system that attack the body's tissues. Autoantibodies can cause autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and type 1 diabetes, researchers say. Researchers examined blood serum samples taken from almost 4,800 people who participated in the 1994-2004 U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The research team was looking for the most common type of autoantibody, called antinuclear antibodies (ANA). The overall prevalence of antinuclear antibodies was about 14 percent and was slightly higher in blacks than in whites. Frequency generally increased with age and was higher in women than in men, with the female-to-male ratio peaking at 40 to 49 years and then declining with age. "The peak of autoimmunity in females ... Read more

Related support groups: Rheumatoid Arthritis, Systemic Lupus Erythematosus, Diabetes, Type 1, Autoimmune Disorders, Lupus Erythematosus

Immune System Research Sees Many Similarities Among People

Posted 1 Sep 2010 by Drugs.com

WEDNESDAY, Sept. 1 – Human immune systems are much more alike than previously believed, a finding that may lead to new ways to detect, diagnose and treat cancer and autoimmune diseases, say U.S. researchers. The team at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle created a new way to sequence millions of immune system T-cell receptors from a single sample. T-cell receptors are a critical part of the adaptive immune system, which is responsible for protection against new pathogens. When the researchers used this technique to compare immune systems in different people, they were surprised to discover many similarities. "We found that any two people may share tens of thousands of the exact same T-cell receptor. This is contrary to previous dogma that each person has a distinct set of T-cell receptors with little or no overlap between people," study corresponding author Harlan ... Read more

Related support groups: Cancer, Autoimmune Disorders

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