Presenter Information

Kimberly Sprenger

Description

Inflammation is often a sign of a healthy immune system— contrary to the unregulated propagation and damage caused by irregular, chronic inflammation present in neurodegenerative diseases. Regular inflammation is a means by which the body creates an environment inhospitable by microbes, such as bacteria or viral particles. The most apparent physical representation of inflammation in the body is a fever— the body’s method of increasing the blood pressure to allow the delivery of immune cells to the site of infection more rapidly and efficiently.

A fever, however, is a response that is largely the first resort, meaning that it is a natural defense considered to be part of the innate immune system’s response to foreign invaders/bodies. The entire immune system is split into two divisions: the innate and the adaptive. These two divisions are still largely intertwined, and immunologists today still don’t have a complete explanation for all the ways that the two parts of the immune system work together. Fever is only one example of inflammation that occurs in the body, but it is inflammatory responses related to fever that— when not properly regulated by the body’s homeostatic mechanisms—can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Immunotherapy is a fairly new field of science and is rapidly taking over the field of alternative medicine in areas of research such as cancer and allergies. This poster focuses on the recent applications of immunotherapy to prevalent neurodegenerative diseases such as PD and AD. Other neurodegenerative diseases that are not discussed in this poster but are notable include Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Motor Neuron disease (MND), and Huntington’s disease (HD).

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Presented as part of the 2019 USFSP Undergraduate Research Symposium held April 16, 2019.

Thesis Director: Dr. Hossam Ashour

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Cellular Immunotherapy: Up & Coming Applications to Major Neurodegenerative Diseases

Inflammation is often a sign of a healthy immune system— contrary to the unregulated propagation and damage caused by irregular, chronic inflammation present in neurodegenerative diseases. Regular inflammation is a means by which the body creates an environment inhospitable by microbes, such as bacteria or viral particles. The most apparent physical representation of inflammation in the body is a fever— the body’s method of increasing the blood pressure to allow the delivery of immune cells to the site of infection more rapidly and efficiently.

A fever, however, is a response that is largely the first resort, meaning that it is a natural defense considered to be part of the innate immune system’s response to foreign invaders/bodies. The entire immune system is split into two divisions: the innate and the adaptive. These two divisions are still largely intertwined, and immunologists today still don’t have a complete explanation for all the ways that the two parts of the immune system work together. Fever is only one example of inflammation that occurs in the body, but it is inflammatory responses related to fever that— when not properly regulated by the body’s homeostatic mechanisms—can lead to neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) or Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

Immunotherapy is a fairly new field of science and is rapidly taking over the field of alternative medicine in areas of research such as cancer and allergies. This poster focuses on the recent applications of immunotherapy to prevalent neurodegenerative diseases such as PD and AD. Other neurodegenerative diseases that are not discussed in this poster but are notable include Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease), Motor Neuron disease (MND), and Huntington’s disease (HD).