Sunday, November 6, 2011
What Are Autoimmune Diseases?
Your next question might be to ask why the body is attacking itself. The answer is simple: We don't know. There are theories that some bacteria or virii might trigger the autoimmune response in patients who are genetically predisposed, but nothing has been confirmed.
Because drug companies have not been able to target the specific characteristic of the immune system that makes it attack friendly cells, the treatment for autoimmune illness until as of late has been to, in effect, beat down the entire immune system -- good and bad parts alike. It's sort of like using a sledgehammer to put in a thumbtack.
Lately, though, there have been a slew of "bio-drugs," also called disease modifying agents, which target a very specific group of molecules in the body.