Friday August 17, 2018

Find out how our Immune System is related to Brain Functioning

The scientists found that immune system signalling can directly affect, and even change, social behaviour in mice and other model animals.

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Connection between Brain and Immune System. Image Source: www.deccanchronicle.com
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  • The researchers developed and employed a novel systems-biology approach to investigate the complex dialogue between immune signalling and brain function in health and disease
  • The researchers predicted an unexpected role for interferon gamma (IFN-?), an important substance secreted by immune cells, in promoting social brain functions
  • Restoring of IFN-?-signalling in the brain normalised brain activity and social behaviour

A new research suggests that neurological diseases such as autism-spectrum disorders and schizophrenia can be caused by malfunctioning of immune system

Autism: A Neurological Disease. Image Source: www.americanhealthreview.com
Autism: A Neurological Disease. Image Source: www.americanhealthreview.com

“Our findings contribute to a deeper understanding of social dysfunction in neurological disorders, such as autism and schizophrenia, and may open new avenues for therapeutic approaches,” said Vladimir Litvak, Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the US.

The study was published in the journal Nature.

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The researchers developed and employed a novel systems-biology approach to investigate the complex dialogue between immune signalling and brain function in health and disease.

Immune defence. Image Source: www.huffingtonpost.ca
Immune defence. Image Source: www.huffingtonpost.ca

Using this approach, the scientists found that immune system signalling can directly affect, and even change, social behaviour in mice and other model animals.

The researchers predicated an unexpected role for interferon gamma (IFN-?), an important substance secreted by immune cells, in promoting social brain functions.

In the course of the research, they found that blocking IFN-? in mice made mouse brains become hyperactive and caused atypical social behaviour.

Tridimensional structure of human interferon gamma. Image Source: en.wikipedia.org
Tridimensional structure of human interferon gamma. Image Source: en.wikipedia.org

Restoring of IFN-?-signalling in the brain normalised brain activity and social behaviour.

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“The brain and the adaptive immune system were thought to be isolated from each other, and any immune activity in the brain was perceived as a sign of pathology,” said Jonathan Kipnis from the University of Virginia.

“And now, not only are we showing that they are closely interacting, but some of our behaviour traits might have evolved because of our immune response to pathogens,” Kipnis explained. (IANS)

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    If the immune system is affected, it affects the whole body because it has a lot to do with our mental health

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Study: Vaping can Damage Immune System Cells

Previous studies have focused on the chemical composition of e-cigarette liquid before it is vaped

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Vaping
Vaping damages vital immune system cells: Study. Pixabay

Vaping can damage vital immune system cells and may be more harmful than previously thought, a study suggests.

Researchers found e-cigarette vapour disabled important immune cells in the lung and boosted inflammation, the BBC reported.

A small experimental study, led by Professor David Thickett, at the University of Birmingham, showed that in only over 48 hours the vapour from e-cigarette caused inflammation and impaired activity of alveolar macrophages — cells that remove potentially damaging dust particles, bacteria and allergens.

For the study, the researchers devised a mechanical procedure to mimic vaping in the laboratory, using lung tissue samples provided by eight non-smokers.

The research which is still in its infancy was published online in the journal Thorax.

Thickett said: “In terms of cancer causing molecules in cigarette smoke, as opposed to cigarette vapour, there are certainly reduced numbers of carcinogens.

Vaping
Vaping. Pixabay

“They are safer in terms of cancer risk — but if you vape for 20 or 30 years and this can cause COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), then that’s something we need to know about.”

“We should have a cautious scepticism that they are as safe as we are being led to believe,” Thickett said.

Thickett said some of the effects were similar to those seen in regular smokers and people with chronic lung disease.

Also Read about Multi-gene Test: Multi-gene Test May Help to Diagnose The Risk of Heart Disease, Diabetes And More

He, however, caution the results are only in laboratory conditions and advise further research is needed to better understand the long-term health impact.

This is a “caution against the widely held opinion” that vaping can be used to aid in giving up cigarettes, the researcher said.

Previous studies have focused on the chemical composition of e-cigarette liquid before it is vaped. (IANS)