Treatments for autoimmune disease // Drug Repurposing

Treatments for autoimmune disease

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THURSDAY June 4, 2009 - A compound derived from hydrangea root, an herb used in traditional Chinese medicine, halted the progression of an autoimmune disorder in laboratory mice and human cells, new research shows.

What makes the compound, halofuginone, so promising, the researchers said, is that it slowed progression of the disease without suppressing normal immune system functioning.

A major drawback to current treatments for autoimmune disease is increased risk for infections because of suppressed immune system functioning, according to the study, which appears in the June 5 issue of Science.

"This is really the first description of a small molecule that interferes with autoimmune pathology but is not a general immune suppressant, " said the study's lead study author, Mark Sundrud, from the cellular and molecular medicine program and the Immune Disease Institute at Children's Hospital Boston.

Autoimmune diseases occur when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy tissues and organs.

The disorders, which include multiple sclerosis, lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, are difficult to treat because drugs that can suppress inflammatory attacks by the immune system on body tissues often have the side effect of suppressing the functioning of the immune as well.

Other current treatments include intravenous infusions of antibodies that neutralize cytokines, the chemical messengers produced by T cells that regulate immune function and inflammatory responses.

But the antibodies are expensive and don't stop the production of cytokines, the root cause of disease, according to the study. People must receive frequent infusions to keep inflammation in check.

Previous research has implicated Th17 cells in a variety of autoimmune disorders, including inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, eczema and psoriasis.

In the study, researchers gave halofuginone to mice with experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE), an artificially induced immune disease that resembles multiple sclerosis in humans.

They found that low-doses of halofuginone inhibited the development of Th17 cells in the mice but did not alter other kinds of T cells important for normal immune function.

Tests in human cells in the lab showed a similar inhibition of Th17 cell formation.

The researchers believe that halofuginone acts by activating a biochemical pathway known as the amino acid starvation response, or AAR, which typically protects cells when amino acids, the essential building blocks of proteins, are in short supply.

When excess amino acids were added to cultured T cells that were exposed to halofuginone, the AAR didn't switch on, allowing Th17 cells to develop.

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Well, PubMed would be a good place to start...

by Hydrogyrophage

Read a few articles and you'll be more informed on the subject than I am.
But speaking from what I do know, I have spoken with a handful of professors who do work in this area. Genetic therapy to treat illnesses such as cancer already exists - though it's a bit sloppy and unrefined. I believe there are also treatments for autoimmune diseases in the works.
Treating for predisposition to disease, on the other hand, is a totally different matter, and has an entirely separate set of challenges. See, when you're treating for something that's there, you have a target: a type of cancerous cell, or a type of autoreactive immune cell

Science has not caused...

by Hydrogyrophage

... cancer, autoimmune diseases, pathogenic bacteria, parasitic worms, parasitic amoeba and protists, viruses, coronary heart disease, atherosclerosis, congenital disorders, neurodegenerative diseases, mycotoxins, chronic inflammatory diseases, enterotoxins, carcinogenic polyaromatic hydrocarbons, spider, snake, or platypus venoms, arsenic and arsenic compounds, scurvy, rickets, malnutrition...
Science isn't even responsible for cars or the metal or mining industries.
On the other hand, scientists have found treatments or solutions, using the scientific method, for many of the above problems, and science has allowed us to make cars that are more fuel-efficient, and to refine our mining and metalworking techniques to make them less dangerous and more productive.

Terminal Illness--Feeling -alone

by Brencot74

I have Cystic Fibrosis, Autoimmune disease that attacks my joints. Hypothyroidism, I need surgical repair of my pelvic organs and a hysterectomy. Over the past year I have had irreversible neurosensory hearing loss, and the nerve damage also affected my taste. My mother had breast cancer and now there is a lump in my breast. I know this sounds incredibly impossible, but there it all is. My fiance and kids are great, but I know they are sick of all this .. hospitals, medications, breathing treatments... I have no other family, my daughter is in Michigan with my mother and they dont talk to me. Even on Thanksgiving, I didnt even get a phone call

By the way black. if i read the article correct

by string23

Ly. you are fundamentally mistakes because you are using species adaptation as a justification for subjecting the body to new variation. while the species may adapt that does not recognize the short term havoc during that adaptation: desease and body function misfires, etc. you need to keep time scale in mind.
another story which provides questions about medical researchers judgment. this approach should have occurred befor 2013.
WEDNESDAY, June 5 (HealthDay News) -- A new therapy for multiple sclerosis that teaches the body to recognize and then ignore its own nerve tissue appears to be safe and well-tolerated in humans
If larger studies prove the technique can slow or stop the disease, the therapy would be a completely new way to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS) and type 1 diabetes

Springer Contraception and Pregnancy in Patients with Rheumatic Disease
Book (Springer)

Vaccine Induced Immune Overload and the Epidemic of Chronic Autoimmune ..  — The People's Voice
Family studies indicate type 1 diabetes is linked to the development of several different autoimmune diseases including organ specific autoimmune diseases and rheumatoid diseases.

Imprint Books Connective Tissue Diseases: Holistic Therapy Options--Sjoegrens Syndrome; Systemic Sclerosis - Scleroderma; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Discoid Lupus Erythematosus; Secondary and Primary Raynauds phenomenon; Raynauds Disease; Polymyositis Dermatomyositis
Book (Imprint Books)