autoimmune disease


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autoimmune disease,

any of a number of abnormal conditions caused when the body produces antibodiesantibody,
protein produced by the immune system (see immunity) in response to the presence in the body of antigens: foreign proteins or polysaccharides such as bacteria, bacterial toxins, viruses, or other cells or proteins.
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 to its own substances. In rheumatoid arthritisarthritis,
painful inflammation of a joint or joints of the body, usually producing heat and redness. There are many kinds of arthritis. In its various forms, arthritis disables more people than any other chronic disorder.
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, a group of antibody molecules called collectively RF, or rheumatoid factor, is complexed to the individual's own gamma globulin blood proteins; the circulating complex apparently causes tissue inflammation and muscle and bone deformities. In Hashimoto's thyroiditis, an inflammatory disease of the thyroid gland, antibodies are produced against the thyroid protein thyroglobulin. In some blood disorders, antibodies may be produced against the body's own red and white blood cells. Myasthenia gravis, a disease characterized by weakened muscles, is thought to have an autoimmune origin. In systemic lupus erythematosus it has been shown that individuals have antibodies to certain of their own body substances that for some reason are acting as antigens; these substances include the individual's own nucleic acids and cell organelles such as ribosomes and mitochondria. Lupus can cause dysfunction of many organs, including the heart, kidneys, and joints. Because lupus and certain diseases of probable autoimmune origin, e.g., scleroderma and dermatomyositis, affect collagencollagen
, any of a group of proteins found in skin, ligaments, tendons, bone and cartilage, and other connective tissue. Cells called fibroblasts form the various fibers in connective tissue in the body.
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 (connective tissue) throughout the body and blood vessels, they are referred to as collagen-vascular diseases. In rheumatic fever, the individual produces antibodies to antigens of streptococcal bacteria; it is believed that the streptococcal antigens are structurally similar to antigens of the heart and that antistreptococcal antibodies, combining with antigenic sites on the heart, damage the muscle and heart valves. Diseases of the immune system are currently treated by a variety of nonspecific immunosuppressive drugsimmunosuppressive drug,
any of a variety of substances used to prevent production of antibodies. They are commonly used to prevent rejection by a recipient's body of an organ transplanted from a donor.
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 and steroidssteroids,
class of lipids having a particular molecular ring structure called the cyclopentanoperhydro-phenanthrene ring system. Steroids differ from one another in the structure of various side chains and additional rings. Steroids are common in both plants and animals.
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autoimmune disease

[¦ȯd·ō·ə′myün di‚zēz]
(immunology)
An illness involving the formation of autoantibodies which appear to cause pathological damage to the host.
References in periodicals archive ?
There are more than 100 known autoimmune diseases, including psoriasis, Graves' disease, Sjogren's syndrome, Type 1 diabetes, relapsing polychondritis, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn's disease and lupus.
The market for autoimmune disease diagnostics is divided into eight segments on the basis of tests: antinuclear antibody test, autoantibody test, complete blood count, comprehensive metabolic panel, C-reactive protein test, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, urinalysis and others.
The use of biomarkers for the early detection of autoimmune disease will result in safer and better treatment with fewer side effects for patients and the efficient use of drugs--thus, cost savings and the appropriate utilization of healthcare resources for health insurers and consumers.
While the debate over the safety of dental amalgam in general continues, people with a genetic risk for autoimmune disease could be more sensitive to it, Pollard says.
Generic share of the global autoimmune diseases therapeutics market and for the market of each indication that is covered in the report.
Analyzes current therapeutic options for autoimmune diseases, and evaluates emerging therapeutic candidates and assesses their commercial potential
Autoimmune diseases tend to cluster in families and in individuals (a person with one autoimmune disease is more likely to get another), which indicates that common mechanisms are involved in disease susceptibility.
It's as if scientists are assembling a jigsaw puzzle for each autoimmune disease, she says, "and some of the pieces we can put in one puzzle or another.
These low doses helped avoid confounding of the subsequent results by the toxic effects of iHg exposure itself or by directly causing iHg-associated autoimmune disease.
WASHINGTON -- Autoimmune disease research is likely to benefit significantly from greater coordination across specialties under a new federally mandated plan.
In an autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the healthy serf instead of aliens or cancerous oddballs.