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The Immunotherapy Revolution for Autoimmune Diseases
Autoimmune diseases are a conundrum: Sometimes instead of protecting the body, the immune system turns against it. The target of its wrath varies depending on the condition. To alleviate patients' suffering, doctors must dampen the immune system. However, lacking the means to selectively target only the parts that are misbehaving, they have no choice but to broadly impair the body’s defenses, opening the door to potentially life-threatening malignancies and infections.
This tradeoff has long frustrated Aimee Payne, MD, PhD, a professor of Dermatology in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, who treats and studies pemphigus vulgaris, an autoimmune condition that causes the skin to blister and peel because immune proteins known as antibodies attack an adhesive molecule in skin, desmoglein 3.
“Why are we wiping out all of the immune cells, including the g
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NIH Investigates Multidrug-Resistant Bacterium Emerging In Community Settings
New “hypervirulent” strains of the bacterium Klebsiella pneumoniae have emerged in healthy people in community settings, prompting a National Institutes of Health research group to investigate how the human immune system defends against infection. After exposing the strains to components of the human immune system in a laboratory “test tube” setting, scientists found that some strains were more likely to survive in blood and serum than others, and that neutrophils (white blood cells) are more likely to ingest and kill some strains than others. The study, published in mBio, was led by researchers at NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
“This important study is among the first to investigate interaction of these emergent Klebsiella pneumoniae strains with components of human host defense,” Acting NIAID Director Hugh Auchincloss, M.D., said. “The work reflec
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Can a Blood Test Detect Alzheimer’s Disease?
In July, the first direct-to-consumer blood test designed to assess a user’s risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease hit the market. The test, which has not undergone Food and Drug Administration (FDA) review, measures the level of a protein called beta amyloid, a key component of plaques that form in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease patients, disrupting brain function.
Zaldy Tan, MD, MPH, medical director of the Jona Goldrich Center for Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders and the Carmen and Louis Warschaw Endowed Chair in Neurology at Cedars-Sinai, sat down with the Cedars-Sinai Newsroom to answer questions about the test, as well as similar blood tests that are in development.
What do these new blood tests measure?
Blood tests for Alzheimer's disease provide a convenient way for patients to see whether they might be developing Alzheimer's-type changes or pathology in their brain ye
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A Healthy Diet, Reading, And Doing Sports Promote Reasoning Skills In Children
Reasoning skills are crucial skills in learning, academic performance, and everyday problem-solving. According to a recent study conducted at the University of Eastern Finland, improved overall diet quality and reduced consumption of red meat, as well as increased time spent in reading and organised sports enhanced reasoning skills among children over the first two school years.
“Children with healthier eating habits showed greater cognitive development than other children. Specifically, better overall diet quality, lower red meat consumption, and higher low-fat dairy product intake were linked to better reasoning skills,” says Doctoral Researcher Sehrish Naveed of the University of Eastern Finland.
Children who spent more time in reading and organised sports showed better reasoning skills than their peers. On the other hand, excessive time spent on a computer and unsupervised leisure-