Rheumatoid Arthritis – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Rheumatoid Arthritis Definition Rheumatoid Arthritis – a chronic, autoimmune disorder in which nodules and inflammation develop within the synovial capsules of the joints, causing erosion of the bone and connective tissues, eventually deforming the joint. Synovial membranes encapsulate the joints and secrete synovial fluid, which lubricates the structures of the joint so they move smoothly […]

Read More

Sarcoidosis – Symptoms and Treatment

Sarcoidosis Definition An inflammatory disorder in which multiple granulomas (nodules of hardened lymph and fibrous tissues) form in organs and tissues throughout the body. Sarcoidosis most commonly affects the lungs, liver, lymph nodes, eyes, and skin, though can affect any body structure. The granulomas typically have alternating growth and remission stages, though generally cause permanent scarring. Though most […]

Read More

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease (SCID)

Severe Combined Immunodeficiency Disease Definition A rare, genetic immune disorder in which an infant is born with severely deficient immune capability due to the absence of leukocytes. Because the infant receives passive immunity from his or her mother at birth (and through breastfeeding), the deficiency often is not apparent until age three to six months or […]

Read More

Sjögren’s Syndrome (disease) Symptoms and Treatment

Sjögren’s Syndrome Definition An autoimmune disorder that affects the glands that provide moisture for the mucous membranes, notably the lacrimal (tear) glands and the salivary glands. Sjögren’s syndrome exists in one of three forms: Primary, in which the only structures it affects are the exocrine glands and the main symptom is dryness Secondary, in which […]

Read More

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) – Symptoms and Treatment

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Definition A chronic autoimmune disorder in which the immune response creates antibodies that attack the cells of various organs. SLE is a type III hypersensitivity reaction (immune complex reaction) that most commonly develops between the ages of 15 and 40. Nine times as many women than men have SLE, and SLE is three times more common […]

Read More

Vasculitis (disease) – Symptoms and Treatment

Vasculitis Definition Vasculitis – a group of autoimmune disorders in which the epithelium (lining) of the blood vessels becomes inflamed. The inflammation causes localized pain and swelling. There are numerous forms of vasculitis. They share common characteristics and symptoms though each of which has unique traits. Vasculitis may be acute (come on suddenly, run its course, and be over) or chronic (symptoms […]

Read More

Goodpasture’s Syndrome – Definition, Symptoms, Diagnosis

Definition of Goodpasture’s Syndrome An autoimmune disorder in which the immune system produces antibodies that attack the glomeruli in the kidneys, impairing kidney function, and the alveoli in the lungs, causing bleeding into the lung tissue. In most people who develop Goodpasture’s syndrome the symptoms follow a viral infection of the upper respiratory tract or exposure to […]

Read More

Graft vs. Host Disease – Symptoms and Treatment

Graft vs. Host Disease Definition Graft vs. Host Disease – a life-threatening condition in which the immune cells (leukocytes and lymphocytes) contained in allogeneic transplanted bone marrow (the graft, from a donor source) produce antibodies that attack other organs in the organ transplant recipient’s body (the host). Bone marrow transplantation(or blood stem cell transplantation) is the primary […]

Read More

Granuloma – Definition

Granuloma Definition An accumulation of granulocytes (also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes [PMNs]) and other cells that contain and enclose an area of inflammation at the site of cell injury, usually due to infection. The effect is to “wall off” the area so the infection cannot spread. The resulting construction is fibrous (scar-like). over time the pathogen causing the infection dies but […]

Read More

Immune Disorders – Symptoms and Treatment

Immune Disorders Definition Chronic conditions of the immune system that affect the immune response and the body’s ability to protect and defend itself against infection. Immune disorders generally result from a deficiency or absence of some component or structure of immune function. Such a deficiency may be primary, which is congenital (present at birth), genetic (inherited), or acquired (develops during life). […]

Read More