Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer
Human Immune System
Autoimmunity and Other Diseases

Overview: What is Autoimmunity?

Autoimmune  KaleidoscopeThe human immune system is designed to continually thwart invasions of hostile germs and substances. Sometimes the immune system attacks its own bodily tissues, instead of the foreign invaders. This is called "autoimmunity". There are over 80 autoimmune diseases. Most of them predominantly affect females.

What is Autoimmunity? The healthy human body is equipped with a powerful set of tools for resisting the onslaught of invading microorganisms. Unfortunately, this set of tools, known as the immune system, sometimes goes awry and attacks the body itself. At least ten million Americans suffer from the more than eighty illnesses caused by autoimmunity. John Hopkins Medical Institutions. (Also see Autoimmune Diseases and Antibodies)

Autoimmunity. Welcome to Ed's Pathology Notes, placed here originally for the convenience of medical students at my school. I am good at helping people find resources and answers.

Human Immune System

WinterThe Human Immune System is a defence mechanism that protects the body against disease. ISN

Acquired Immune
Brain and Immune
Innate Immune
Interstitial Immune
Psychological Immune

Causes of Autoimmunity

Mesenchymal stromal cells and autoimmunity. The mechanism of action of infused MSCs is still under investigation, but the results obtained are too preliminary to draw any conclusion. PubMed, Int Immunol, 2017 Feb 1;29(2):49-58.

Is Bariatric Surgery a Trigger Factor for Systemic Autoimmune Diseases? A causal relationship is difficult to establish because factors that could trigger autoimmune diseases are multiple, including genetic susceptibility, time elapsed until achievement of ideal weight, and vitamin deficiencies. PubMed, J Clin Rheumatol, 2016 Mar;22(2):89-91.

A Cytomegalovirus Peptide–Specific Antibody Alters Natural Killer Cell Homeostasis and Is Shared in Several Autoimmune Diseases. Our findings reveal that a shared hCMV-induced autoantibody is involved in the decrease of CD56(bright) NK cells and may thus contribute to the onset of autoimmune disorders. PubMed, Cell Host Microbe, 2016 Mar 9;19(3):400-8. (Also see Natural Killer Cells)

Diagnosis of Autoimmunity

Laboratory diagnosis of autoimmune diseases - new technologies, old dilemmas. An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system begins to attack its own antigens. A hallmark is the production of high-affinity autoantibodies. Different techniques have been used to develop specific tests for autoantibody detection including immunodiffusion, immunoblotting techniques, immunofluorescence, enzyme immunoassays and recently flow cytometry for multiplex bead-based assays. Due to a variability in assays that has led to confusion in results. Biochemia Medica.


Polyautoimmunity in Sjögren's Syndrome. Polyautoimmunity is a frequent condition in Sjögren syndrome (SS) and follows a grouping pattern and the study of polyautoimmunity provides important clues for elucidating the common mechanisms of autoimmune diseases. PubMed, Rheum Dis Clin North Am, 2016 Aug;42(3):457-72. (Also see Sjögren's Syndrome)

Symptoms of Autoimmunity

Psychotic and nonpsychotic mood disorders in autoimmune encephalitis: diagnostic issues and research implications. Recent research on autoimmune disorders suggests additional links between systemic and central nervous system (CNS) pathophysiology, among which the identification of antibody-induced limbic encephalitis provided the strongest evidence for the potential involvement of autoimmunity in the pathogenesis of severe mood and psychotic symptoms. Neuro Immunology and Inflammation.

Treating Autoimmunity

Most autoimmune diseases are treated by rheumatologists. For many diseases, it's important to find a rheumatologist that specializes in it -- and most especially for the rarer and harder to treat autoimmune diseases, such as dermatomyositis and scleroderma.

Autoimmunity and Other Diseases

Associations between specific autoimmune diseases and subsequent dementia: retrospective record–linkage cohort study, UK. The associations with vascular dementia may be one component of a broader association between autoimmune diseases and vascular damage and clinicians should be aware of the possible coexistence of autoimmune disease and dementia in individuals. PubMed, J Epidemiol Community Health, 03/01/2017.

Go to Human Immune System

Many thanks to our recent donors, Jack and Elizabeth Lewis. See ISN News for more donors. Click Here to Donate.


TOLL FREE HOTLINE, U.S. and Canada: 1-800-564-7099
Ask for our Free Info Packet by email or postal mail!

SCLERO.ORG is the world's leading nonprofit for trustworthy research, support, education and awareness for scleroderma and related illnesses.

We are a service of the nonprofit International Scleroderma Network (ISN), which is a 501(c)(3) U.S.-based public charitable foundation, established in 2002. Meet Our Team, or Volunteer. Donations may also be mailed to:

International Scleroderma Network (ISN)
7455 France Ave So #266
Edina, MN 55435-4702 USA
Email [email protected] to request our Welcome email, report bad links, or update page content. Disclaimer. Privacy Policy.

The most important thing in the world to know about scleroderma is!