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Autoimmune Disease

Disease that results when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body's own tissues. Examples include multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

PubMed Health Glossary
(Source: NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

About Autoimmune Disease

More than 80 diseases occur as a result of the immune system attacking the body's own organs, tissues, and cells. Some of the more common autoimmune diseases include type 1 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, and inflammatory bowel disease.

The chronic and debilitating nature of these diseases, which can lead to high medical costs and reduced quality of life, is a burden on patients and also affects their families and communities. Although the causes of autoimmune disease remain unknown, a combination of a person's genes together with infections and other environmental exposures are likely to play a significant role in disease development.

Treatments are available for many autoimmune diseases, but cures have yet to be discovered. NIH - National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

What works? Research summarized

Evidence reviews

Interventions for mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin, eyes and mouth)

Mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita are rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin and mucous membranes (eyes and mouth). They can result in scarring, which may lead to disabling and life threatening complications. Treatments include corticosteroids, mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide to suppress the immune system, and less toxic drugs such as antibiotics. These diseases often progress despite treatment. There is some evidence that mucous membrane pemphigoid involving the eyes may respond better to treatment with cyclophosphamide combined with corticosteroids, compared to treatment with corticosteroids alone. Cyclophosphamide is, however, associated with potentially severe adverse effects. Dapsone may help moderate disease. More research is needed to identify the most effective treatment options.There is not enough reliable evidence about treatments for the rare blistering diseases, mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

The Fc receptor-like 3 gene polymorphisms and susceptibility to autoimmune diseases: an updated meta-analysis

Previous studies have identified several single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of Fc receptor-like 3 (FCRL3), an excellent susceptibility gene, as predisposing factors for human autoimmune diseases (ADs). However, the results remain inconclusive. To assess the effect of four selected SNPs (rs7528684, rs11264799, rs945635 and rs3761959), we conducted a meta-analysis with 34 case-control studies. Summary odd ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) for the polymorphisms in FCRL3 and ADs risk were evaluated. Furthermore, this meta-analysis was performed by using allele comparisons, as well as stratified analyses by ethnicity and disease phenotypes under different genetic models. Our data showed that the TC, TT + TC genotypes of rs7528684 contributed to a lower risk of ADs, compared with the CC carriers (OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.85-0.97; OR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.85-0.98). In comparison with rs7528684 TC genotype, the TT + CC carriers were significantly associated with higher ADs risk (OR = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.00-1.07). In terms of stratified analyses by ethnicity and disease phenotypes, there were significant associations of rs7528684 polymorphism both with ADs in Asians and Europeans, and with rheumatoid arthritis, Graves' disease, type-1 diabetes, and other ADs under different genetic models. Moreover, significant associations were also found to be correlated with ADs risk for the SNP rs11264799 in mixed subgroup, for rs945635 in Europeans, North Americans and mixed group, and for rs3761959 in North Americans. These findings indicate that the polymorphisms in FCRL3 may play a role in the pathogenesis of ADs.

CD226 Gly307Ser association with multiple autoimmune diseases: a meta-analysis

BACKGROUND: Recently, there has been increasing evidence shown that a non-synonymous exchange (Gly307Ser/rs763361) of the CD226 gene on chromosome 18q22 is linked to several autoimmune diseases (ADs) including type 1 diabetes (T1D), celiac disease (CED), rheumatoid arthritis (RA), multiple sclerosis (MS), Grave's disease, Wegener's granulomatosis (WG), psoriasis, and primary sicca syndrome (pSS). Taking into consideration that different autoimmune diseases may share some common pathogenic pathways and in order to assess the overall relationship between CD226 Gly307Ser (rs763361) polymorphism and multiple autoimmune diseases, we performed this meta-analysis.

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Summaries for consumers

Interventions for mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita (rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin, eyes and mouth)

Mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita are rare autoimmune blistering diseases of the skin and mucous membranes (eyes and mouth). They can result in scarring, which may lead to disabling and life threatening complications. Treatments include corticosteroids, mycophenolate mofetil and cyclophosphamide to suppress the immune system, and less toxic drugs such as antibiotics. These diseases often progress despite treatment. There is some evidence that mucous membrane pemphigoid involving the eyes may respond better to treatment with cyclophosphamide combined with corticosteroids, compared to treatment with corticosteroids alone. Cyclophosphamide is, however, associated with potentially severe adverse effects. Dapsone may help moderate disease. More research is needed to identify the most effective treatment options.There is not enough reliable evidence about treatments for the rare blistering diseases, mucous membrane pemphigoid and epidermolysis bullosa acquisita.

Corticosteroid regimens for treatment of acute and chronic graft versus host disease (GvHD) after allogenic stem cell transplantation

Corticosteroids are commonly used to treat acute and chronic graft‐versus‐host disease (GvHD) but their effect on length and quality of life of patients has not been studied systematically. In this systematic review, we tried to compare the effect of treatment regimens used for GvHD in the absence and presence of corticosteroids, or with different doses of corticosteroids. After searching relevant sources, we located only two studies that met our criteria to be included in the study. Their results are described in detail in the text of the review. In brief, these studies are in favor earlier remission and slightly better outcome in patients but more evidence is needed in this field.

Interventions for latent autoimmune diabetes (LADA) in adults

LADA is a condition that at diagnosis looks like type 2 diabetes (non‐insulin requiring diabetes mellitus) but actually is a type 1 diabetes, where the patient will become insulin requiring. In the UK approximately 3.6% of people who look like they have type 2 diabetes actually have type 1 diabetes, while other studies suggest the prevalence is higher and treatment for these patients may need to be different from that used in type 2 diabetes.

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More about Autoimmune Disease

Photo of an adult

Also called: Autoimmune disorder

See Also: Antiphospholipid Antibody Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Autoimmune Hepatitis, Lupus, Graves' Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Scleroderma, Hashimoto's Disease, Pemphigus, Pemphigoid

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