Karen Turner PHD | Major Breakthrough In Immune Response Of Hepatitis C
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Major Breakthrough In Immune Response Of Hepatitis C

Major Breakthrough In Immune Response Of Hepatitis C

Major Breakthrough In Immune Response Of Hepatitis C

Major Breakthrough In Immune Response Of Hepatitis C

by BoomerYearbook.com

Researchers from Scripps Institute and La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology came up with the same conclusion after conducting two separate studies. This was that by altering a specific immune system molecule the rat was able to successfully fight Hepatitis C. If these finding can be reiterated in humans then an entirely new approach to the treatment of Hepatitis C may arise.

The research team, using controlled laboratory studies of mice, was able to eliminate a chronic virus infection in the animals by blocking a key messenger molecule in the immune system. The finding has particular relevance for hepatitis C, a viral illness which can cause liver disease and cancer, but may also be applicable to AIDS, Cytomegalovirus and other chronic virus infections. Mitchell Kronenberg (LIAI President & Scientific Director) noted that the research is particularly exciting because the scientific team was able to completely eradicate the usually chronic infection in the mice, not just tone it down, like many of the current treatment methods for such infections.

LIAI’s research team used a novel method for tackling a chronic viral infection, which involved releasing the disease-fighting power of the immune system by blocking the interleukin-10 (IL-10) messenger molecule receptor with a simple antibody. Normally, this molecule, which is produced at substantial levels during hepatitis C, HIV and cytomegalovirus infections, acts to suppress the immune system’s attack on chronic virus infections. The discovery by scientific researchers that mice chronically infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus produce large amounts of IL-10 led to the development of this new intervention. Von Herrath used a version of the virus that causes chronic infections in a study involving 40 infected mice. The mice were treated with the IL-10-blocking antibody for two weeks. They developed a normal antiviral immune response, gained weight and returned to a healthy state. Von Herrath noted that their studies showed that the treatment worked best when given immediately after infection.

Von Herrath said that future studies in humans should primarily target hepatitis C because it causes the body to produce the most IL-10 of any of the chronic virus infections. Hepatitis C has been compared to a “viral time bomb.” The World Health Organization estimates that about 180 million people, some 3% of the world’s population, are infected with hepatitis C virus, 130 million of whom are chronic carriers at risk of developing liver cirrhosis and/or liver cancer. The hepatitis C virus is responsible for 50-76% of all liver cancer cases, and two thirds of all liver transplants in the developed world. Current estimates in the U.S. are that 3.9 million Americans are chronically infected with hepatitis C.

Von Herrath said the research team will continue to expand on the finding along with many other researchers who are bent on finding a major treatment or even a cure for Hepatitis C.

We at Boomer Yearbook are excited and thrilled by the prospect of this type of hepatitis C treatment. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

www.boomeryearbook.com is a social networking site connecting the Baby Boomer generation. Share your thoughts, rediscover old friends, or expand your mind with brain games provided by clinical psychologist Dr. Karen Turner. Join today to discover the many ways we are helping Boomers connect for fun and profit.

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