Friday

Therefore, autoimmune diseases are getting worse and worse

Danish researcher has helped break the code of how diseases where the immune system attacks the body is spreading. 
ARTICLE BY  Kristian Sjøgren Journalist from videnskab.dk translated here into English.
Psoriasis and other autoimmune diseases just get worse and worse. (Photo: Shutterstock)

When the immune system attacks the body, it is almost unnoticed, but slowly attacked more powerful and more powerful until it develops into debilitating rheumatoid arthritis, lupus or other autoimmune diseases.
Now, a Danish researcher, along with researchers from Harvard Medical School and Boston Children's Hospital, has revealed how the immune system constantly intensifies its attack.
The discovery can eventually help detect and control the diseases before they completely break through.
"It's a big step in the right direction to develop medicine that can effectively slow down the negative spiral that the immune system is taking," says Associate Professor at the Department of Biomedicine at Aarhus University. Søren Egedal Degn, co-author of the study.
The new study is published in the scientific journal Cell.
Professor Gunnar Houen from the State Serum Institute calls it a very large and interesting work.
"The results emphasize the importance of co-operation between the innate and induced immune system and the importance of the B cells in that context," says Gunnar Houen.

Autoimmune diseases make researchers wonder

The immune system is designed to eliminate viruses, bacteria and other foreign bodies by recognizing antibodies and attaching to so-called antigens that can sit on the surface of a bacterium.
Subsequently, the antibodies attract other parts of the immune system that neutralize the threat.
Sometimes it goes wrong.
When the immune system attacks the body, the immune system's B cells make antibodies that recognize antigens in the body's own tissue, own proteins or own DNA and attack them.
From there, things escalate slowly, and in a disease such as lupus, researchers can see traces of the autoimmune reaction up to ten years before, the patient meets the doctor and gets the diagnosis.
This development has for many years led researchers to wonder in the scalp.
"We can understand that the immune system can mistake and attack the body itself. But so far we have not been able to understand why the reaction is constantly getting stronger and stronger while spreading to other tissues and organs. That is what we have now found out, "says Søren Egedal Degn.
Three out of four people affected by autoimmune diseases are women. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The immune system reinforces its attack

Søren Egedal Degn's research shows that the immune system's B cells, which produce the antibodies that react with the body's own cells, constantly recruit other B cells to participate in the fight against what they think is a threat.
It occurs in the so-called 'germ centers' within the lymph nodes and spleen where the B cells develop their antibodies. The purpose of the centers is to ensure that the B cells produce antibodies that recognize the foreign bodies as best as possible, so that they constantly enrich the antibodies' ability to bind to the antigens.
The problem is simply that B cells that are programmed to make a type of antibody raise B cells that make another antibody into the germs. In this way, the immune system goes from attacking one place in the body to two places in the body to three places and so on.
"It is a negative spiral where the B cells continue to recognize something new in the body and constantly enhance their response. In other words, one type B cells, which only attack one place in the body, mean that many B cells attack many different parts of the body. It is spreading as little in the water, thus developing autoimmune diseases to the worse, "explains Søren Egedal Degn.

Discovery can be used diagnostically

According to Søren Egedal Degn, the new discovery can be the starting point for drug development that puts an end to the destructive behavior of B-cells and germs.
He tells that discovery can help put the finger on the mechanism to be controlled if the autoimmune diseases are under control.
"Our results can be used to increase momentum in the direction of developing drugs that aim to try to quench the germs. We may also be able to use diagnostic surveys of the germ centers to see if various autoimmune diseases are on the rise, "says Søren Egedal Degn.
Discovered the behavior of B-cells by one case
The new discovery occurred in a case when Søren Egedal Degn with colleagues examined the autoimmune disease lupus in mice. Here they examined the germ cells to find out how the immune system of the mouse reacts during the disease.
To their great surprise, they also found a lot of other B cells inside the sex centers, many of which recognized antigens in other organs and tissues of the body.
"They would not, under normal circumstances, become autoreactive, but we could see that they became because they were pulled in there by other B cells. From there we went on to study the findings and confirmed it in various museum and cell trials, "says Søren Egedal Degn.

Thursday

Low-gluten strain of wheat, which could be good news for people with gluten intolerance

Scientists create Low-gluten strain of wheat

A low-gluten strain of wheat has been developed by scientists at the Institute of Sustainable Agriculture in Cordoba, Spain. This is good news for people with gluten intolerance or possibly even celiac disease.

The new cereal has been created using a gene-editing technique called CRISPR/Cas9 tool. CRISPR stands for Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats and is a genetic modification technique. This technology has been used to eliminate the majority of the gliadins in wheat. These are the gluten proteins which cause most of the gluten intolerance issues for people triggering celiac disease in genetically predisposed individuals.”

We show that CRISPR/Cas9 technology can be used to precisely and efficiently reduce the amount of α-gliadins in the seed kernel, providing bread and durum wheat lines with reduced immunoreactivity for gluten intolerant consumers. Dr. Francisco Barro Losada, geneticist whose team carried out the research.

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It's what gives bread it's soft texture and the lack of it is why many gluten free breads are just not soft like wheat bread.

Certain conditions can cause an adverse reaction to gluten. Many people with autoimmune disease report that they feel better when they remove gluten from their diet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that requires celiacs to completely remove gluten from their diets. Their immune systems respond incorrectly to gluten, which damages the gut lining and can lead to bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, malnutrition, anemia, brain damage and even gut cancers.

Let's hope that this low-gluten strain of wheat will soon be used to make low-gluten bread.


Journal Reference: Low-gluten, nontransgenic wheat engineered with CRISPR/Cas9.

You might also be interested in the video The Difference Between Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

Wednesday

First RNA-Based Blood Test to Identify IBS and IBD


Diagnostic company IQuity has introduced the first RNA-based blood test to identify Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) share similar symptoms but are very different conditions requiring unique treatment. Current criteria for diagnosing gastrointestinal disorders can take more than a year while abdominal pain and discomfort continues. IQuity


This test will give answers earlier than previously possible for people with IBS and IBD. Ribonucleic acid (RNA) is a molecule essential in various biological roles in coding and expression of genes.


The researchers conducted longitudinal and cross-sectional studies of both autoimmune and non-autoimmune diseases. They found that differences detected at the level of RNA can provide an accurate snapshot of a person’s disease. Using RNA, they can tell at a very early stage if a pattern exists that indicates a specific disease. This means treatments can be started earlier.


Nashville-based life science technology company IQuity has announced the release of IsolateIBS-IBD

Tuesday

Autoimmune Research Roundup


This is a roundup of recent research that has been done on Autoimmune diseases from around the world:
Scientists identify potential key to therapeutic treatments for autoimmune diseases 

International study of the gut microbiome – the population of bacteria in the gut – in MS. August 2017 

Sodium intake may interact with genetics to increase latent autoimmune diabetes risk September 2017

Autoimmune Epilepsy: Current Research In Oxford. September 2017.

PTSD linked with increased Lupus risk September 2017. 

Regular exercise, stress can both make a big difference in lupus, study finds: Daily activity appears to cut kidney damage from inflammation – and stress does opposite. September 2017. 

Gates Foundation Invests $40 Million in Immunotherapy Collaboration

RELATED CONDITIONS
An in-depth report on the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of carpal tunnel syndrome from University of Maryland Medical Center
Untreated sleep apnea: higher risk blood sugar level spikes, stress hormones & blood pressure, new study finds.

Wednesday

Health quotes

Health quotes
Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, 
and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. - World Health Organization
Good health and good sense are two of life's greatest blessings. 
Publilius Syrus
Health quotes
 'I have come to believe that caring for myself is not self-indulgent. 
Caring for myself is an act of survival.'

If you have health, you probably will be happy, 
and if you have health and happiness, 
you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want.

 Our illness does not define us. Our strength and courage does.

'Healing doesn't mean the damage never existed

It means the damage no longer controls our life.'

Sunday

Autoimmune hepatitis

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare condition and caused by the body’s immune system attacking the liver. It can affect all age groups, all ethnic groups and all geographical regions though there is a predominance in females.

Autoimmune hepatitis was previously called lupoid hepatitis, as most patients had systemic lupus erythematosus, and also chronic active hepatitis (CAH).

SYMPTOMS OF AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS

Initial symptoms may include fatigue, muscle aches, fever, abdomen pain and jaunice (yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes). Other symptoms may include weight loss and pain in the small joints of fingers. It is often seen in people with other autoimmune conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease or autoimmune thyroiditis (Hashimto's), primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
liver diagram



LATEST RESEARCH ON AUTOIMMUNE HEPATITIS
13th July 2017: Association of autoimmune hepatitis with Src homology 2 adaptor protein 3 gene polymorphisms in Japanese patients
Takeji Umemura, Satoru Joshita, Hideaki Hamano, Kaname Yoshizawa, Shigeyuki Kawa, Eiji Tanaka and Masao Ota

Abstract
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease characterized by an autoimmune reaction to hepatocytes. Read more

May 2017: Autoimmune hepatitis: review of histologic features included in the simplified criteria proposed by the international autoimmune hepatitis group and proposal for new histologic criteria
Dana Balitzer, Nafis Shafizadeh, Marion G Peters, Linda D Ferrell, Najeeb Alshak and Sanjay Kakar

Abstract
Simplified criteria for diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis are based on autoantibodies, serum immunoglobulin G, histologic features, and negative viral serology. Read more

22nd April 2017: Immunoserological and histological differences between autoimmune hepatitis with acute presentation and chronic autoimmune hepatitis

Authors
Kazufumi Dohmen, Hirofumi Tanaka, Masatora Haruno, Shinichi Aishima
The histological features of clinically chronic autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) have been well established, with interface hepatitis and plasma cell infiltration as hallmark lesions, however, the immunoserological and histological features of recent-onset and acute AIH remain undefined. Read on

2017: Recurrent Autoimmune Liver Diseases After Liver Transplantation
A. J. Montano-Loza; R. A. Bhanji; S. Wasilenko; A. L. Mason

Indications for liver transplantation (LT) in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) Read more at Medscape
31st August 2016: Autoimmune hepatitis: current challenges and future prospects
Aizawa Y, Hokari A

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic progressive liver disease characterized by high levels of aminotransferases and autoantibodies, hypergammaglobulinemia, and interface hepatitis. Read more


Liver diagram

Saturday

Probiotics to reduce hay fever symptoms

Probiotics reduce spring allergies

Probiotics have been shown to improve quality of life in individuals with seasonal allergies. This was in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized trial done at the University of Florida.

The probiotics are Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium longum MM-
Rhinoconjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva due to allergy combined with rhinitis. The conjunctiva is the mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of the eyelids.
Quality of life is often reduced during seasonal Rhinoconjunctivitis. The Mini Rhinoconjunctivitis Quality of Life Questionnaire (MRQLQ) is used to measure the quality of life in people experiencing allergies.
In the results of the survey the probiotic group reported an improvement in the MRQLQ score when compared with the placebo group.

Conclusions: This combination probiotic improved rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life during allergy season for healthy individuals with self-reported seasonal allergies.

Full Article is at The American Journal of CLINICAL NUTRITION
Probiotics (Lactobacillus gasseri KS-13, Bifidobacterium bifidum G9-1, and Bifidobacterium longum MM-2) improve rhinoconjunctivitis-specific quality of life in individuals with seasonal allergies
The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2017; 105 (3): 758 DOI: 10.3945/ajcn.116.140012

Wednesday

Autoimmune disease in pregnancy - Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS), Hughes syndrome and pregnancy.


Antiphospholipid syndrome and pregnancy


Antiphospholipid syndrome is an autoimmune disorder that is associated with pregnancy complications. However most people with APS only get one of these complications not all of them. They include: recurrent miscarriage, early delivery, tiny blood clots in the blood vessels within the placenta, growth restriction of the foetus, stillbirth, and pre-eclampsia. 

Planning your pregnancy
Women with diagnosed APS are advised to plan for pregnancy because treatment to improve the outcome is more successful when it begins as soon as possible after conceiving. Also because some medications used to treat APS could also harm an unborn baby and these are stopped when planning to become pregnant.

Treatment during pregnancy
This involves taking daily doses of aspirin or heparin, or a combination of both. The doctors decide this considering the history of blood clots and complications during any previous pregnancy.  
These treatments usually start at the beginning of the pregnancy and may continue for one to six weeks after birth.
But don’t despair. These pregnancies are treatable. In our recent study (the largest and most detailed one done to date), pregnancy outcome was about the same as for women with diabetes, kidney disease, or poor socioeconomic conditions. More than 9 of 10 pregnancies survived, and about 8 of 10 pregnancies went to full term. Of course patients were very closely monitored and treated, mostly with a form of injectable heparin (a blood thinner). The common problems were prematurity and high blood pressure (a pregnancy complication seen in many circumstances); the problems occurred most often in patients who also had lupus. Dr Michael Lockshin.
Working closely with an obstetricians and/or gynecologists during pregnancy is advised as they have the means to prevent thrombosis and the other pregnancy complications associated with APS.

Support for those with APS:
APS Support UK
APSFA.org has a pregnancy support forum.




Sunday

Foods to support the immune system - part 3

Cruciferous vegetables are the gold standard in immune-boosting vegetables.



Watch this video to see the great range of Cruciferous vegetables. 

Although all vegetables have nutrients and some protective powers, for these vegetables, it’s off the charts. Cruciferous vegetables, from the Brassica family, have a special chemical composition: They have sulfur-containing compounds that are responsible for their pungent flavors. When they’re broken down by biting, blending, or chopping, a chemical reaction occurs that converts these sulfur-containing compounds into isothiocyanates (ITCs). ITCs prevent and knock out cancer and have infinite proven immune-boosting capabilities.
They contain antiviral and antibacterial agents that keep you disease free. Adding the following cruciferous vegetables to your daily plate is like taking an anticancer pill: arugula, beet greens, bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, horseradish, kale, kohlrabi, mustard greens, radishes, red cabbage, turnip greens, or watercress. Cruciferous vegetables are often called cole crops by people in North America and brassicas by people in the United Kingdom.

Here is a great book that provides recipes on cooking with these healthy immune assisting vegetables: 

Brassicas: Cooking the World's Healthiest Vegetables: Kale, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Brussels Sprouts and More
A cookbook showcasing 80 recipes for the most popular of the world's healthiest vegetables-kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, leafy greens, and more-tailored to accommodate special diets such as gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
For a long time, brassicas had a mixed reputation. While a small group of people staunchly adored them, most Americans were not as fond of the vegetables formerly known as "cruciferous" (who doesn't remember a plate of stinky boiled cabbage or President Bush's condemnation of broccoli?). But in recent years, a transformation has occurred. Kale has taken the world by storm and there's hardly a restaurant left that doesn't have cauliflower on the menu. The rising popularity of brassicas is not only due to their extraordinary health benefits and "superfood" status, but also the realization that they can taste delicious when properly prepared.
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