An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a normal body part. There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases. Nearly any body part can be involved and affected. Often symptoms come and go.
The cause is generally unknown. Some autoimmune diseases such as lupus run in families, and some may be triggered by infections or other environmental factors.
Common diseases that are generally considered autoimmune include celiac disease, diabetes mellitus type 1, inflammatory bowel disease (including ulcerative colitis and Crohn´s disease), multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus. Frequently, the diagnosis is difficult.
Many autoimmune diseases are chronic and debilitating even though medical treatment options have greatly improved during the recent decades. In spite of this, a considerable need for more efficacious, safer and more convenient treatments remains.
While it is recognized that there is probably a genetic disposition in certain individuals for the development of autoimmune diseases, the rate of increase in incidence of autoimmune diseases is not a result of genetic changes in humans; the increased rate of autoimmune-related diseases in the industrialized world is occurring in too short a time to be explained in this way. There is evidence that one of the primary reasons for the increase in autoimmune diseases in industrialized nations is the significant change in environmental factors over the last century. Environmental factors include exposure to certain artificial chemicals from industrial processes, medicines, farming, and food preparation. It is posited that the absence of exposure to certain parasites, bacteria, and viruses is playing a significant role in the development of autoimmune diseases in the more sanitized and industrialized Western nations.
Lack of exposure to naturally occurring pathogens and parasites may result in an increased incidence of autoimmune diseases. Correlational data has shown the prevalence of helminthic infections to be greatest south of the equator where the rates of autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis are low. This is consistent with the hygiene hypothesis which suggests that helminthic infections protect individuals from developing auto-immune diseases rather than being an agent responsible for inducing them. A complete explanation of how environmental factors play a role in autoimmune diseases has still not been proposed. Epidemiological studies have helped to establish the link between parasitic infestation and their protective role in autoimmune disease development.
ParaTech is dedicated to bringing TSO to patients suffering from selected autoimmune diseases, and providing them with treatments which are safer, easier to use and effective in reducing disease burden.