Autoimmune Disease : Autoimmune Diseases Essay

1315 WordsOct 28, 20166 Pages
Autoimmune diseases are a growing concern in the American population. An estimated 10 million Americans suffer from autoimmune diseases with 75% of these cases being of women. Furthermore, autoimmune diseases have grown to be within the top 10 causes of death among American women. The incidences of these diseases have been shown to increase with financial wealth, industrial development, and the modern progression of life. As such, the occurrence of these conditions is expected to grow as time passes. With such a notable modern influence, it is shocking that these diseases were not considered of clinical relevance until the 1950s. The investigation of the mechanisms of the propagation of these diseases have been of immense scientific relevance ever since. The complicated immunological background behind infection and treatment of autoimmune diseases while interesting from a scientists perspective, means that from the perspective of treatment there is a long arduous path until new, efficient treatments will show an appreciable decrease in the occurrence of these diseases within American population. To understand autoimmune diseases, the general characteristic of autoimmunity must be addressed. Autoimmunity is defined, in short, as “ misdirected immune response”. A healthy person is equipped with the mechanisms necessary to defend the body from pathogens within the immune system. When autoimmunity is present in an individual, something within the immune system is
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