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 Autoimmune Diseases
 Autoimmunity

Autoimmunity
Autoallergy, Self-Allergy

The condition in which antibodies are produced against the body's own tissues. An immune response to "self" tissues or components. Such an immune response may have pathological consequences leading to autoimmune diseases.

Autoimmune Disease

A process in which the body's immune system causes illness by mistakenly attacking healthy cells, organs, or tissues in the body that are essential to good health. Multiple sclerosis is believed to be an autoimmune disease, along with systematic lupus erythematosus , juvenile diabetes, myasthenia gravis, scleroderma, Graves disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Immune reactions are nearly always characterised by inflammation , which indicates an underlying repair process. However, in the case of autoimmune diseases, inflammation may be chronic causing tissue damage. For example, in rheumatoid arthritis chronic inflammation causes the characteristic joint cartilage damage. The precise origin and pathophysiologic processes of these diseases are unknown.

 

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  http://www.hon.ch/Library/Theme/Allergy/Glossary/autoimmunity.html Last modified: Fri Jun 28 2002