I thought our marvellous Behçet’s community would appreciate sight of the following research, all helping to add to the ‘body of knowledge’. Some of the full article confuses me, so don’t let that put you off if you find the same! Certainly, I think it has particular relevance regarding consideration as to the timing of medication, and recording what is ‘going on’ and when; as the summary below mentions.
Insights into how the body clock and time of day influence immune responses are revealed today in a study published in leading international journal Nature Communications. Understanding the effect of the interplay between 24-hour day-night cycles and the immune system may help inform drug-targeting strategies to alleviate autoimmune disease.
[The full article available at nature.com/articles/s41467-…]
Circadian rhythms or 24-hour rhythms are generated by the body clock, allowing us to anticipate and respond to the 24-hour cycle of our planet. Maintaining a good body clock is generally believed to lead to good health for humans, and disrupting the circadian rhythm (for example, working night shifts) has been associated with immune diseases such as multiple sclerosis; however, the underlying molecular links have been unclear.
In the new study, Professor Kingston Mills and Dr Caroline Sutton of Trinity College Dublin, and Dr Annie Curtis of RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons Ireland), and colleagues show that immune responses and regulation of autoimmunity are affected by the time of the day when the immune response is activated.
Using mice as a model organism, they show that a master circadian gene, BMAL1, is responsible for sensing and acting on time-of-the-day cues to suppress inflammation. Loss of BMAL1, or induction of autoimmunity at midday instead of midnight, causes more severe experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, which is essentially an analogue of multiple sclerosis in mice.
Professor of Experimental Immunology at Trinity, Kingston Mills, said: “In the year that the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded for discoveries on the molecular mechanisms controlling the circadian rhythm, our exciting findings suggest that our immune system is programmed to respond better to infection and insults encountered at different times in the 24-hour clock. This has significant implications for the treatment of immune-mediated diseases and suggests there may be important differences in time of day response to drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis.”
Although further investigations are needed to understand how to precisely modulate circadian rhythm or time-of-the-day cues for beneficial immunity, the findings in this article serve well to remind us the importance of ‘keeping the time’ when dealing with the immune system.
Research Lecturer in the Department of Molecular and Cellular Therapeutics at RCSI, Dr Annie Curtis, said: “Our study also shows how disruption of our body clocks, which is quite common now given our 24/7 lifestyle and erratic eating and sleeping patterns, may have an impact on autoimmune conditions.”
“We are really beginning to uncover exactly how important our body clocks are for health and wellbeing.”
Behçet’s Syndrome Society
The minutes of the 2017 AGM and a full report of the Conference are now available.
This new animation from @TheKingsFund shows how the NHS in England works. Watch it here
Read June 17 edition of Rare Revolution Magazine here. The article on Behcet’s on page 38!
If you have Behcet’s and are in employment, then this booklet will help your Employers to understand the condition better and understand their responsibilities and learn how to help you. If you require a copy in the post, please message on firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan is taking part in the Virgin London Marathon next month. You can sponsor him here:
Good luck Dan!
The Society Urgently Needs You …..Can You Help to Make a Difference?
The current Trustees need to recruit more members to the Board to allow the Society to continue with its work.
The Trustees have overall control of the Society and they use their skills and experience to actively help and support its everyday running.
There are six main responsibilities of a Trustee:
1. To ensure that the Society is carrying out its purpose for the benefit of the members.
2. To comply with the Society’s constitution.
3. To act in the Society’s best interest.
4. To manage the Society’s resources responsibly.
5. To act with reasonable care and skill.
6. To ensure that the Society is accountable.
We are currently planning an exciting Family Weekend, looking to fund more research and planning our annual conference. We have other ideas for the future but there are very few of us to take these forward.
Whilst we would welcome interest from those who have Behcet’s, we would also welcome anyone who is a carer, parent, family member or partner who could help the Society in this way.
The Society is financially secure but we need more trustees with time and enthusiasm to enable us to do more for our members
We meet every two months by teleconference and twice a year face to face.
Have you some time to spare and a good listening ear? Do you know about Behcet’s? Are you in the UK? Would you like to help make a difference to people living with Behcet’s or seeking a diagnosis by providing information, listening and signposting over the telephone? If yes, we would like you to apply to volunteer with the Society. In return we would offer training, guidance and ongoing support.
If you are interested in either of the above please email us at email@example.com