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Q: The role the immune system plays in prevention or recovery from heart disease?
A: The immune system is our body's protective network designed to fend off invasion by harmful substances, including bacteria, viruses, and harmful chemicals, [ and to act as a surveillance system against the development of cancer. Under normal circumstances, the immune system is highly efficient, providing multiple defenses against the onslaught of outside invaders. These defenses include
physical barriers (such as skin); the non-specific inflammatory response, which is brought about by changes in blood flow that bring chemical substances to the injured area; and specific immune responses, in which the body learns to recognize specific invaders and destroy them after subsequent exposures. In many diseases, ranging from autoimmune diseases to AIDS and CFS, there is evidence of mild to severe dysfunction of the immune system. An impaired immune system weakens the body's ability to fend off infection and malignancy, but the immune system can also produce symptoms such as fever, weight loss, musculoskeletal pain and fatigue. In fact, many of the symptoms of the flu (such as achy muscles and joints, fever, and headache) are caused by the immune system's response to the infection. Functions of the immune system suspected to be impaired in CFS include those of the B-lymphocytes (B cells) and T-lymphocytes (T cells), as well as those of the phagocytic and complement systems. B cells and T cells carry out specific immune responses. B cells, a type of white blood cell, can recognize foreign proteins (antigens) and make specific proteins (antibodies) to destroy the antigens (humoral immunity). T cells, other types of white blood cells, do not produce antibodies, but can perform a number of functions, including recognizing foreign antigens, attaching to them and destroying the invader cells (cell-mediated immunity). The phagocytic and complement systems bring about non-specific inflammatory responses. In the phagocytic system, numerous types of white blood cells (phagocytes) engulf and digest foreign particles. ]
Expert answered|jeifunk|Points 815|
Asked 10/13/2011 11:12:46 AM
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