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 ?
The finding highlights the complex genetic underpinnings of psoriasis, which has previously been shown to share genetic susceptibility loci with inflammatory bowel disease and various other autoimmune diseases, Dr.
WASHINGTON -- Biopharmaceutical companies are leading the push to demystify autoimmune diseases, according to a new report, which identifies 311 medicines and vaccines in clinical trials or pending Food and Drug Administration review for individuals with autoimmune diseases.
Browse the full report Autoimmune Diseases Treatment Market - Growth, Share, Opportunities, Competitive Analysis, and Forecast, 2016 - 2022 report at http://www.
The investigational drug candidate has therapeutic potential in a spectrum of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis, psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis.
Individuals diagnosed with autoimmune disease are at high risk for co-occurrence of another autoimmune disease.
Almost a decade ago, researchers at the University of Minnesota and other institutions discovered that people carrying a variant form of the PTPN22 gene bear an increased risk of becoming sick with certain autoimmune diseases.
Autoimmune diseases develop when the immune system attacks rather than protects the host.
But studies concurrently addressing all these factors are extremely rare, says Noel Rose, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Autoimmune Disease Research.
Autoimmune disease is often not considered until the disease has progressed to a point where severe, classic, or hallmark symptoms occur--though antibodies may already be present.
Brown and others have shown that the specific autoimmune disease doesn't really matter: The prognosis for patients with an ILD and an autoimmune disease is significantly worse than for those with that autoimmune disease alone.
Currently we have approximately 25-30 clinical trials going on in autoimmune diseases, about one-third of which are in type 1 diabetes, one-third for rheumatologic disease, and one-third for other conditions," Dr.
It isn't known why women are more likely to have autoimmune diseases, but it is thought that hormones play a role, because autoimmune diseases are more likely to be diagnosed during times when hormones fluctuate, such as after menopause or pregnancy.