Rabu, 20 Maret 2013

Immune Responses and Disease

Immune Responses and Disease
     Strong and healthy immune systems successfully ward off many diseases, particularly infections, but weakened immune responses can permit various diseases to develop.
Age can influence the immune system's effectiveness. Newborns and the elderly may have a weak or impaired immune response to antigens.
Newborns' immune systems are not fully developed at birth but typically become stronger during the first year of life. To strengthen their immune response, newborns can benefit from breastfeeding. 

    Immune systems that work but react incorrectly to the antigens within a person's body can lead to a number of immunological diseases. In autoimmune diseases, the body cannot distinguish between itself and foreign particles and may turn its disease-fighting powers on its own tissues, blood, and organs. Although no specific cause for this imbalance has been uncovered, hormones may be involved.

   Gender factors into who might experience an autoimmune disease. According to the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, of the more than 80 chronic autoimmune diseases, about 75 percent of cases occur in women, and women appear to be most vulnerable to these diseases during their childbearing years, when the levels of hormones are highest in their bodies.
Heredity seems to play a part as well. A person may inherit the tendency to have an autoimmune disorder but might not have the same disease a close relative has. For example, a grandmother may have rheumatoid arthritis , and the granddaughter may have lupus .
    These conditions are related in many ways, but they are different diseases. Some common medical conditions can put people at increased risk for infections. People with diabetes are especially prone to infection, in part because high levels of sugar in the blood can interfere with the functions of certain white blood cells. Patients with chronic lung disease are often at a high risk for pneumonia and bronchitis. 
     Urinary tract infections tend to occur more frequently among people born with abnormal urinary tracts or those who experience an obstruction, such as a kidney stone . People with certain types of heart disease, particularly of the heart valves, are more likely to have endocarditis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the heart (called the endocardium), after dental procedures or surgery. Chronic malnutrition that causes a protein deficiency in the body also can lead to immune problems, because immunoglobulins and other parts of the immune system are made up largely of proteins. 

Sumber : Bpk. Dr. Iskandar Zulkarnain

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