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Fewer Allergies In Infants Who Are Not Stressed

A new study from the Swedish medical university Karolinska Institutet shows that infants with low concentrations of the stress-related hormone cortisol in their saliva develop fewer allergies than other infants. Hopefully this new knowledge will be useful in future allergy prevention. The study is published in the December paper issue of Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

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Claudia Lucchinetti, MD

Multiple Sclerosis Often Starts In Brain’s Outer Layers

Multiple sclerosis (MS) may progress from the outermost layers of the brain to its deep parts, and is not always an “inside-out” process as previously thought, reported a new collaborative study from researchers at the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic. The traditional understanding is that the disease begins in the white matter that forms the bulk of the brain’s inside, and extends to involve the brain’s superficial layers, the cortex. Study findings support an opposite, outside-in process: from the cerebrospinal fluid-filled subarachnoid space, that cushions the outside of the brain and the cortex, into the white matter. Included in this report is an extended video summary of the study results with the lead researcher.

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sample from cell treated with medication

New Drug Could Cure Nearly Any Viral Infection

Most bacterial infections can be treated with antibiotics such as penicillin, discovered decades ago. However, such drugs are useless against viral infections, including influenza, the common cold, and deadly hemorrhagic fevers such as Ebola. Now, in a development that could transform how viral infections are treated, a team of researchers at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory has designed a drug that can identify cells that have been infected by any type of virus, then kill those cells to terminate the infection.

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omega-3

Omega-3 Reduces Anxiety And Inflammation In Healthy Students

A recent study gauging the impact of consuming more fish oil showed a marked reduction both in inflammation and, surprisingly, in anxiety among a cohort of healthy young people. The research, supported by the Ohio State University Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS), was conducted by a team of scientists that has spent more than three decades investigating links between psychological stress and immunity.

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Researcher Caroline Karlsson

Poor Gut Bacteria May Trigger Obesity, While Healthy Stomach Flora May Prevent Weight Gain

Poor gut flora is believed to trigger obesity. In the same way, healthy gut flora could reduce the risk. This has shown to be the case in tests on rats. Daily intake of a lactic acid bacteria, which has been given the name Lactobacillus plantarum HEAL19, appears to be able to prevent obesity and reduce the body’s low-level inflammation. The findings were published recently in the British Journal of Nutrition and form part of the doctoral thesis that Caroline Karlsson, a researcher in food hygiene at Lund University, recently presented.

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Virus

Epstein-Barr (EVB) Virus Could Be A Risk Factor For Multiple Sclerosis

The Epstein-Barr (EVB) virus – belonging to the herpesviruses family, which also includes the herpes simplex virus and the cytomegalovirus – is one of the environmental factors that might cause multiple sclerosis, a condition affecting the central nervous system, which causes are unknown. This has been confirmed by University of Granada scientists that analyzed the presence of this virus in patients with multiple sclerosis. Researchers analyzed antibody levels, that is, antibodies that are produced within the central nervous system and that could be directly involved in the development of multiple sclerosis.

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Researcher Mark Schaller of the University of British Columbia

Behavioral Immune System “Defends” Against Infection And Reduces Workload Of Immune System

Do our own prejudices and perceptions of people help defend our bodies against infectious disease? An article published in the April issue of Current Directions in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, suggests that our brains contain a sort of “behavioral immune system” that defends against disease even before disease-causing pathogens reach our bodies.

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viral DNA

Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Is Not Related To The XMRV Retrovirus

New findings from University of Utah School of Medicine (U of U) researchers show that the retrovirus called XMRV is not present in the blood of patients who have chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). These findings contradict a widely reported 2009 Science study that linked CFS to XMRV. The study, performed by a team of U of U researchers led by Ila R Singh, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor of pathology, was published May 4, 2011, in the Journal of Virology online.

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