Department

Molecular Biology

First Advisor

Dr.Pamela Langer

Description

There is much to be said about the field of immunology, both in regards to what is known and in regards to what is yet to be understood. Together, 80 autoimmune diseases affect 20% of the population, and they remain among the leading causes of death in young and middle-aged women in the United States. The chronic nature of these disorders has created a major impact in terms of medical costs and the quality of life of affected individuals. The purpose of this study is to discuss the general mechanisms of autoimmunity and to take a close look at three common autoimmune disorders: septic arthritis, narcolepsy, and ankylosing spondylitis, including biochemical mechanisms, clinical features, and treatment for each. Whereas current treatment for autoimmune disease is based largely on symptom management, current research is taking a new direction that is more closely directed at the primary cause of autoimmunity, indicating that gene therapy may someday achieve long term, regulated expression in the control of autoimmune disease.

Comments

Oral Presentation, UW Honors Program

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Autoimmune Disease: An Unmet Clinical Challenge

There is much to be said about the field of immunology, both in regards to what is known and in regards to what is yet to be understood. Together, 80 autoimmune diseases affect 20% of the population, and they remain among the leading causes of death in young and middle-aged women in the United States. The chronic nature of these disorders has created a major impact in terms of medical costs and the quality of life of affected individuals. The purpose of this study is to discuss the general mechanisms of autoimmunity and to take a close look at three common autoimmune disorders: septic arthritis, narcolepsy, and ankylosing spondylitis, including biochemical mechanisms, clinical features, and treatment for each. Whereas current treatment for autoimmune disease is based largely on symptom management, current research is taking a new direction that is more closely directed at the primary cause of autoimmunity, indicating that gene therapy may someday achieve long term, regulated expression in the control of autoimmune disease.