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[ Autism Linked To Immune System Problems, Further Evidence Found ]

Autism Linked To Immune System Problems, Further Evidence Found

According to a study in the April 2012 International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience, the plasma of children with autism disorder (AD) had significantly lower levels of various cytokines, compared with that of unrelated healthy siblings from other families, who had family members with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Cytokines are small proteins released by cells of the immune system that act as intercellular mediators and communicators between cells. Researchers of the University of Kansas Medical Center analyzed 29 cytokine levels and discovered abnormal cytokine levels in five cells related to the T-helper cell immune system. They found three abnormal levels in the production of blood cells (hematopoiesis), which could potentially affect the production of antibodies that are needed in order to have a normally functioning immune system.

Hookworms And Allergies - Doctor Infects Himself For Experiment

In the first experiment of its kind to test the suggestion that hookworm infection can reduce some allergic responses, a UK doctor who specializes in medical entomology, infected himself with the parasite and then swallowed a pill camera to film the effect on his intestines. Dr James Logan, whose research group at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) looks for new ways to control the insects that spread deadly diseases like malaria and dengue fever, agreed to infect himself with hookworm in his debut as a tropical disease expert for the TV show Embarrassing Bodies, a new series of which went out on Channel 4 in March. In using his own body in the service of science, Logan joins self-experimenters like Sir Isaac Newton, who in the 17th century nearly went blind after staring too long at the sun in a mirror in order to study the after-images on his retinas.

Study Suggests Coronary Stents Not Harmful To Patients With History Of Metal Allergy

Study is first to compare clinical outcomes after placing stents in those with and without a history of skin allergy to stent metal components. Cardiologists have long grappled with how to best manage patients with coronary artery disease who report skin hypersensitivity to nickel or other metal components found in stents - small tubes placed in narrowed or weakened arteries to help improve blood flow to the heart. But new Mayo Clinic research, published in Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, may help allay these concerns. "Most interventional cardiologists will, at some stage, have to decide whether to place a coronary stent in a patient with a history of skin allergy to one of the metal components, most commonly nickel. Our study found no evidence of an increased risk of heart attack, death or restenosis, which is a recurrent narrowing within a stent, in patients who reported themselves to be allergic to metal prior to implantation, " says Rajiv Gulati, M.

Coronary Stents Safe For Those Allergic To Metals

In the April 16 issue of Circulation: Cardiovascular Interventions, a study conducted by researchers at Mayo Clinic, reveals that coronary stents are not harmful to patients with coronary artery disease, who are allergic to nickle or other metal components. Coronary stents are small tubes inserted into narrowed or weakened arteries in order to help improve blood flow to the heart. Rajiv Gulati, M.D., Ph.D., an interventional cardiologist at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., explains: "Most interventional cardiologists will, at some stage, have to decide whether to place a coronary stent in a patient with a history of skin allergy to one of metal components, most commonly nickel. Our study found no evidence of an increased risk of heart attack, death, or restenosis, which is a recurrent narrowing within a stent, in patients who reported themselves to be allergic to metal prior to implantation.

New Regulator Identified In Allergic Diseases

Researchers have taken a critical step in understanding how allergic reactions occur after identifying a genetic signature for regulation of a key immune hormone, interleukin (IL-13). Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center say the finding opens the potential for new molecular targets to treat allergic disease. They report in Mucosal Immunology that a particular microRNA, miR-375, is regulated by IL-13, and in turns regulates how IL-13 induces pro-allergic changes, particularly in epithelial cells in the lung and esophagus. The data support a role for miR-375 in asthma and in eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), a severe, often painful food allergy that renders children unable to eat a wide variety of foods. EoE can also cause weight loss, vomiting, heartburn and swallowing difficulties.

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