According to a research study by the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden, an autoimmune disorder might be to blame for some cases of anorexia and bulimia, The finding could eventually lump some eating disorders into the same category as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and other autoimmune diseases. Using blood serum from female patients diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, bulimia nervosa, or both, researchers from the Karolinska Institutet found that most of the patients produced antibodies that selectively attached to certain hypothalamus and pituitary cells in rat brain samples. Both the hypothalamus and the pituitary secrete chemicals called neuropeptides that regulate metabolism. The antibodies were attracted to cells that produce three specific neuropeptides, called alpha-MSH, ACTH, and LHRH. It is unclear if… Read more..
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Estrogen may have a new purpose in treating or preventing certain types of autoimmune disease, according to a study. Autoimmune diseases, like Sjögren’s syndrome, are much more prevalent in women than men. This suggests that estrogen probably plays an important role in the disease; however, no definitive link has yet been found. Researchers from the Karolinska Institute and colleagues report that estrogen-deficient mice develop an autoimmune disease that resembles Sjögren’s syndrome. To investigate the possible role of estrogen in such diseases, the researchers examined genetically engineered mice that lacked aromatase, an enzyme that helps make estrogen. The ARKO mice showed increased production of certain immune cells, increased numbers of white blood cells in the salivary glands, renal damage, and had… Read more..