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An Autoimmune disease occurs when cytotoxic T cells or antibodies attack the body’s own cells by mistake. Thus the immune system responds in a manner that harms our own body.

  • It involves both genetic and environmental factors.
  • It is more likely to develop in women.
  • Certain HLA antigens in people are potentially indicative of autoimmune diseases
  • Usually Autoimmune diseases are treated with drugs designed to decrease the immune response (immunosuppression)

Some of the examples of autoimmune diseases are as follows:

Rheumatic fever - Involve the heart, joints, skin, and brain; an inflammatory disease; antibodies induced by a streptococcal (bacterial) infect throat and react with heart muscle (myocarditis).

Rheumatoid arthritis - Leads to inflammation of the joints and surrounding tissues; the joints are chronically inflamed

Crohn’s disease - Directed against the absorptive portion of the gut; a type of inflammatory bowel disease which affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from mouth to anus

Graves' disease - Caused by thyroid autoantibodies; the thyroid is overactive to produce an excessive amount of thyroid hormones

Alopecia areata - Causes round patches of hair loss usually from the scalp

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis - A disease of the nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, also referred to as motor neuron disease

Ankylosing spondylitis - A chronic inflammatory disease of the axial skeleton, involve inflammations of the joints between the spinal bones, and the joints between the spine and pelvis

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