New findings are now being presented on possible mechanisms behind gender differences in the occurrence of rheumatism and other autoimmune diseases. The study, published in Nature Communications, can be of significance for the future treatment of diseases. “It’s very important to understand what causes these diseases to be so much more common among women,” says Åsa Tivesten, professor of medicine at Sahlgrenska Academy, Sweden, a chief physician and one of the authors of the study. “In this way, we can eventually provide better treatment for the diseases.” In autoimmune diseases, the immune system creates antibodies that attack the body’s own tissue. Almost all autoimmune diseases affect women more often than men. The gender difference is especially great in the case… Read more..
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More than 300 Medicines in are in the Research Pipeline for Autoimmune Diseases. Today, more than 80 autoimmune diseases have been identified. Many more diseases are thought to be autoimmune but have not been scientifically been identified as such, and others are considered to be autoimmune-related conditions. Although researchers do not know the exact cause of autoimmune diseases, progress is being made to better understand potential factors that may be involved. Scientists have discovered that autoimmune diseases tend to occur in members of the same family, suggesting a genetic component, and are more common in women than in men. In autoimmune diseases, environmental elements, such as certain foods, chemicals or even physical trauma can trigger the immune system to attack… Read more..
University of Colorado Boulder researchers have discovered a potent, drug-like compound that could someday revolutionize treatment of rheumatoid arthritis and other autoimmune diseases by inhibiting a protein instrumental in prompting the body to start attacking its own tissue. “We have discovered a key to lock this protein in a resting state,” said Hang Hubert Yin, a biochemistry professor in the BioFrontiers Institute and lead author of a paper, published today in Nature Chemical Biology, describing the discovery. “This could be paradigm shifting.” More than 23.5 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma and lupus, in which an overzealous immune response leads to pain, inflammation, skin disorders and other chronic health problems. Three of the top five selling… Read more..
Why do more women than men get autoimmune diseases? There are more than 80 autoimmune diseases that can be life-altering, even life-threatening. These occur when the immune system goes awry and mistakenly attacks healthy parts of the body rather than infectious invaders such as bacteria and viruses. It’s often described as the body’s inability to distinguish “self” from “non-self.” Autoimmune diseases afflict 23.5 million Americans, according to the Department of Health and Human Services, although the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association estimates the number at more than twice that. Women account for nearly 80 percent of all cases — for reasons not well understood. Most often, they hit women in their reproductive years, often complicating pregnancy. The immune system produces… Read more..
When the immune system attacks the body it can go unnoticed, but the attack gradually strengthens until it has developed into full blown rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or another type of autoimmune disease. Scientists have now discovered how the immune system intensifies its attack. The discovery could help with the diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune diseases before they cause too much damage. “It’s a big step in the right direction towards developing medicine targeted at halting the negative spiral set in motion by the immune system,” says co-author, Assistant Professor Søren Egedal Degn, from the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University, Denmark. The new study is published in the scientific journal Cell. “The results emphasise the significance of cooperation between the… Read more..
Researchers in both academia and industry are turning to immune-suppressing cells to clamp down on autoimmune disorders, and the effort is building to a fever pitch. Recently, pharmaceutical firm Eli Lilly of Indianapolis, Indiana, announced that it would pay up to US$400 million to support the development of a drug — which entered clinical trials in March — that stimulates these cells, called regulatory T cells. And in January, Celgene of Summit, New Jersey, announced plans to buy a company working on a similar therapy for $300 million. Other companies, from tiny biotechs to pharmaceutical heavyweights, are also investing in an approach that could yield treatments for a variety of disorders caused by an immune attack on the body’s own… Read more..
Aclara Research released the results of The Illinois Medical Cannabis Patient Experience Study, the first of Illinois patients since the inception of the pilot program in 2012. The study is the largest and most comprehensive look at the impact of the statewide program, examining nearly 300 of the 18,000 Illinois residents registered. The Aclara Research study found that 86 percent of survey respondents are managing leading symptoms of chronic pain. While chronic pain is not one of the 41 qualifying conditions in Illinois, cannabis shows strong potential in treating autoimmune diseases in which chronic inflammation plays a central role. Key findings from the study include: • Key gender gaps within the health care system as well as medical cannabis use: ◦… Read more..
Bacteria naturally present in our gut may be central for reversing inflammation detected in gut inflammatory diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). That finding was reported in the study “NLRP12 attenuates colon inflammation by maintaining colonic microbial diversity and promoting protective commensal bacterial growth,” which was published in the journal Nature Immunology. Researchers at the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center discovered that human patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, one of the most common types of IBD, carry significant lower levels of a protein called NLRP12. “At this point we have limited treatment options and no cure for people with inflammatory bowel disease,” Justin E. Wilson, PhD, research assistant professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Genetics, said in… Read more..
The diagnoses of autoimmune diseases are increasing. A recent review of literature concluded that worldwide rates of rheumatic, endocrinological, gastrointestinal, and neurological autoimmune diseases are increasing by 4 to 7 percent per year, with the greatest increases seen in celiac disease, type 1 diabetes, and myasthenia gravis (a rapid fatigue of the muscles), and the greatest increases occurring in countries in the Northern and Western Hemispheres. But are autoimmune diseases really rising, or are doctors more educated on the symptoms and signs of them and therefore able to diagnose patients more effectively? It’s a bit of both, according to Geoff Rutledge, M.D., Ph.D., a California-based physician and chief medical officer at HealthTap.”It is true that as we broaden the definitions of autoimmune… Read more..
The average monthly cost of drugs to treat inflammatory conditions was more than $3,000 in 2015, according to Express Scripts’ 2015 Drug Trend Report, released in March 2016. Additionally, per member per year spend on drugs to treat autoimmune diseases was $89.10 in 2015, making inflammatory conditions the leading specialty therapy class as well as the leading class overall in the report. “Spending on autoimmune drugs continues to increase and utilization is rising,” says April Kunze, PharmD, senior director, clinical formulary development and trend management strategy, Prime Therapeutics. “Autoimmune is the number one specialty drug spend category at Prime Therapeutics within our commercially insured business, comprising approximately one in 10 dollars spent on all drug expenditures through the medical and… Read more..