Posts Categorized: News & Information

Researchers Find Link Between Processed Foods and Autoimmune Diseases

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In today’s hustle and bustle world, processed foods are commonplace time-savers. But that convenience factor may come with a bigger price tag than previously known, says an international team of researchers. In findings published earlier this year in Autoimmunity Reviews, researchers from Israel and Germany present evidence that processed foods weaken the intestine’s resistance to bacteria, toxins and other hostile nutritional and not nutritional elements, which in turn increases the likelihood of developing autoimmune diseases. The study was led by Professor Aaron Lerner, of the Technion Faculty of Medicine and Carmel Medical Center, Haifa and Dr. Torsten Matthias of the Aesku-Kipp Institute (Germany). The research team examined the effects of processed food on the intestines, and on the development of… Read more..

Type 1 diabetes Is on the Rise in Kids, But No One Really Knows Why

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The number of U.S. kids living with type 1 diabetes has increased by almost 60 percent since 2002, and experts are not sure why. Using a national database, researchers found that the prevalence of type 1 diabetes stood at just under 1.5 cases per 1,000 children and teenagers in 2002. By 2013, that figure had risen to 2.3 per 1,000. The study, published online Dec. 17 in the journal Diabetes Care, adds to evidence of a global—and puzzling—rise in type 1 diabetes. Unlike type 2 diabetes—a common adulthood disease—type 1 diabetes has nothing to do with obesity. It’s an autoimmune disease in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the cells that produce insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar. And it’s usually… Read more..

Enzyme implicated in autoimmune disorders

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Researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center have found an enzyme they think is a culprit in at least two autoimmune disorders. Writing in the Oct. 20 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the investigators in Dallas report experiments in mice suggest shutting down production of the enzyme could help tame autoimmunity. The molecule they were studying is cyclic GMP–AMP synthase, or cGAS. In 2012 Zhijian “James” Chen, professor of molecular biology at UT Southwestern, and his team reported that cGAS is a “sensor” molecule for the innate immune system, which mounts the body’s earliest defense against invading pathogens such as bacteria. In response to pathogens cGAS spurs the innate immune system and sets off a… Read more..

A Pill for Two Different Types of Arthritis

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Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is often treated with an inexpensive drug called methotrexate. Now it appears that this same drug may be helpful for people who suffer from Osteoarthritis (OA), and that’s surprising. Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition where the body’s defense system attacks healthy tissue in the lining of the joints, causing inflammation and pain. Methotrexate is a drug designed to treat certain autoimmune conditions and certain cancers. It works by suppressing the immune system and slowing growth of certain cells.  For RA, it suppresses the immune system from attacking joints, and lessens the inflammation in the joints, which eases pain and reduces long-term damage to joints. Either there are no banners, they are disabled or none… Read more..

Enzyme’s role could help fight cancer and autoimmune diseases

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Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have made a new discoverydiscovery that could help in the fight against both cancer and autoimmune diseases. Enzyme that relays signals between cells’ mitochondria could help fight disease. They have found that the enzyme receptor-interacting serine-threonine kinase-3 (RIPK3) has a role not previously envisaged: sending messages between the cells’ mitochondria “powerhouses” and the immune system, according to an article published in the journal Nature Communications. It appears that the communication carried out by RIPK3 has two functions: first, to launch immune responses against tumors, and second, to regulate inflammatory responses that may result in autoimmune diseases. RIPK3 was already known to control the induction of necroptosis, which is a form of programmed cell death…. Read more..

Researchers Discover that Multiple Sclerosis is More Common in Women

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Women are more likely to develop autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis (MS), and a lab accident has come closer to determining the reasoning behind this, according to findings published in The Journal of Immunology. Researchers from Northwestern University accidentally used all female mice instead of all male mice in an experiment which lead to the discovery that the innate lymphoid cell, a type of white blood cell, exhibits different immune activities in males versus females. A mouse model of MS was induced into the animals and essentially 100% of the mice got sick if they were female. However, a notable difference the researchers found was that male mice either do not get sick or experience lesser symptoms. That’s the reason behind… Read more..

Child antibiotic exposure linked to juvenile arthritis

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(7/21/15) Children prescribed courses of antibiotics were found to have twice the risk of developing juvenile arthritis than children who did not receive antibiotics, according to the findings of a new study. Researchers estimate that around a quarter of antibiotics prescribed to children are unnecessary. The estimate is higher for antibiotics prescribed for acute respiratory infections. The study, published in Pediatrics, also found that the more antibiotics the children were prescribed, the greater their risk of juvenile arthritis developing. It is believed that around half of antibiotics courses prescribed to children for acute respiratory infections are unnecessary, giving more significance to the researchers’ findings. “Our research suggests another possible reason to avoid antibiotic overuse for infections that would otherwise get… Read more..

New Blood test revels every virus

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One drop of blood can reveal every virus you’ve had! Using less than a drop of blood, a new test can reveal nearly every virus a person has been exposed to, scientists report. The test, which is still experimental, can be performed for as little as $US25 ($32) and could become an important research tool for tracking patterns of disease in various populations, helping scientists compare the old and the young, or people in various parts of the world. It could also be used to try to find out whether viruses, or the body’s immune response to them, contribute to chronic diseases and cancer, the researchers said. “I’m sure there’ll be lots of applications we haven’t even dreamed of,” said… Read more..

Scientists reveal potential new drug target for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

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Scientists findings, published in the May 20, 2015 issue of Science Translational Medicine, could open the door to an entirely new class of medications that specifically prevents joint damage and brings relief to patients who don’t respond to available treatment regimes. Current rheumatoid arthritis treatments focus on intercepting the immune system’s misdirected attack on the lining of affected joints to alleviate the debilitating symptoms, reduce inflammation and slow the progression of the disease. “Unfortunately, for around 40 percent of patients, immune-targeted therapies are not sufficient to bring them into full remission,” says the study’s lead author Nunzio Bottini, M.D. Ph.D., associate professor at La Jolla Institute and associate professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Diego. “If we could… Read more..

Novel Drug From Nature Shows Early Promise

Researchers are investigating whether the venoms of the sun anemone, above, which lives on reefs in the Caribbean, and other creatures such as spiders and snakes could yield new medical treatments. Photo: Kineta Inc.

[5/9/15] A biotechnology company developing an unusual drug—derived from the venom of a sea anemone to treat autoimmune diseases such as psoriasis and multiple sclerosis—reported encouraging results from a phase 1 clinical trial. Seattle-based Kineta Inc. said it expects early next year to begin recruiting patients for the next stage of the drug’s development, a phase 2 clinical trial. Kineta said the drug, called dalazatide, is intended to block only the white blood cells that cause many autoimmune diseases. Traditional treatments for autoimmune disorders suppress the entire immune system, putting patients at risk for infections. Phase 1 trials are preliminary, meant to test the safety and tolerability of a new drug in a small group of patients. The bulk of new… Read more..