Thursday, April 18, 2024

Autoimmune Diseases

Coquilla, D.   September 2023.
Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders characterized by an abnormal immune response against the body’s own cells and tissues. These diseases can affect various organs and systems in the body, leading to chronic inflammation and tissue damage. There are numerous types of autoimmune diseases, each with its own specific target proteins, mechanisms of action, and antibodies.
Some of the different types of autoimmune diseases include:
1. Rheumatoid arthritis: This is a chronic inflammatory disease that primarily affects the joints, causing pain, swelling, and stiffness.

2. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE): SLE is a multisystem autoimmune disease that can affect various organs, including the skin, joints, kidneys, heart, and lungs.

3. Multiple sclerosis (MS): MS is a chronic neurological disease characterized by the immune system attacking the protective covering of nerve fibers in the central nervous system, leading to communication problems between the brain and the rest of the body .

4. Type 1 diabetes: This autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys the insulin-producing cells in the pancreas, leading to high blood sugar levels (Pollard et al., 2010).
5. Celiac disease: Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder triggered by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It causes damage to the small intestine and interferes with nutrient absorption (Márquez et al., 2018).
6. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis: This is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland, leading to an underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism) (Papadopoulos et al., 1996).
7. Graves’ disease: Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes overactivity of the thyroid gland, resulting in hyperthyroidism (Nishi, 2018).
8. Sjögren’s syndrome: This autoimmune disease primarily affects the salivary and tear glands, leading to dry eyes and mouth (Oldstone, 2014).
9. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD): IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which are chronic inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal tract (Murng & Thomas, 2017).
10. Psoriasis: Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition characterized by red, scaly patches on the skin. It is caused by an overactive immune system (Dick & Croxson, 2020).
The target proteins of autoimmune diseases vary depending on the specific disease. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis, the target proteins are the synovial joints, while in multiple sclerosis, the target proteins are the myelin sheath of nerve fibers .
The mechanism of action of autoimmune diseases involves the immune system mistakenly recognizing self-antigens as foreign and mounting an immune response against them. This can lead to chronic inflammation, tissue damage, and dysfunction of the affected organs or systems (Oldstone, 2014; Hudson et al., 2012).
Antibodies play a crucial role in autoimmune diseases. They are produced by the immune system and target specific proteins or antigens in the body. In autoimmune diseases, these antibodies can mistakenly target self-proteins, leading to tissue damage and inflammation (Murng & Thomas, 2017; Feist et al., 2000).
In terms of potential cures for autoimmune diseases, researchers are exploring new methods, compounds, and molecules that can modulate the immune response and restore immune tolerance. These include immunomodulatory drugs, biologic therapies, and targeted therapies that aim to suppress the abnormal immune response and reduce inflammation (Tuijnenburg et al., 2019; Nissen et al., 2020).
Existing drugs for autoimmune diseases include corticosteroids, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and biologic agents such as tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and interleukin-6 (IL-6) inhibitors (Vuppalanchi & Ghabril, 2022; Chalasani et al., 2015). However, these drugs may have limitations in terms of efficacy, safety, and side effects.
Newly discovered compounds for autoimmune diseases are being investigated in preclinical and clinical studies. These include targeted therapies that aim to block specific immune pathways or molecules involved in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases (Tuijnenburg et al., 2019; Nissen et al., 2020). These new compounds hold promise for more effective and targeted treatment options.
In the BIPOC population, autoimmune diseases can present unique challenges and disparities. BIPOC communities may experience higher prevalence, later stage at presentation, worse response to standard therapy, and transplant-related disparities in certain autoimmune diseases. These disparities may be influenced by a combination of biological, genetic, environmental, and social factors. It is important to address these disparities and ensure equitable access to healthcare and appropriate treatment for all individuals, regardless of their racial or ethnic background.
Overcoming the challenges in developing new treatments for autoimmune diseases requires collaboration between researchers, clinicians, and patients to better understand the underlying mechanisms and develop targeted therapies.
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Diabetes Type 1

Type 1 diabetes, also known as insulin-dependent diabetes or juvenile diabetes, is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by the destruction of insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas. This results in a deficiency of insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetes typically develops in childhood or adolescence, but it can occur at any age.

There are subtypes of diabetes that may have similar characteristics or overlap with Type 1 diabetes, such as latent autoimmune diabetes in adults (LADA) and fulminant type 1 diabetes. LADA is a slow-progressing form of autoimmune diabetes that occurs in adults, while fulminant type 1 diabetes is a rare and rapidly progressing form of the disease.

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Autoimmune Diseases

Coquilla, D. September 2023 Autoimmune diseases are a group of disorders characterized by an abnormal immune response against the body’s own cells and tissues. These

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