Monday, August 25, 2014

Unveiling the Cytokines!

It is increasingly suggested that the role of what we call the Cytokines, once looked at closely, is much broader and remains one of the insufficiently explored phenomena of life.  The key to their "secrecy" and unexplored facet is linked to their Multi-plurality (indeed there are many Cytokines), their ability to act at low quantity level (they act on specific receptors) and act insidiously (3 years after a Brain injury, Cytokine manifestation is through lack of memory, or decreased focus on things, or even change in weight)!
The effect is often not patent but definitely present such as minimal fever, minimal diarrhea or some joint pains!  But it is the Cytokines at work.
In COPD, the "thin puffer"is an example of a clinical presentation of Cytokine at play!  One tend to brush out the deleterious effects of smoking because one did not develop "COPD" or lung cancer.   This even a woman who had a stroke 20 years ago...and looks older then people of her age.   The deleterious effects of smoking can vary according to our gene background among other things, and of course also, according to the various receptors that an individual has!  While some may indeed develop lung cancers, many other will develop Bladder cancer, or simply get old faster, or develop memory problems, or lack of ability to gain weight !  Its all depend on many factors including the production of Cytokines!

*Role in Traumatic Brain Injury:
This where the effect is dramatic, indeed after a brain injury, there is a healing on location, and science has shown that even if the area directly involved may control movement, science has observed that individual afflicted by trauma may several years later develop Post Traumatic Syndrome (PTSD) with lack of sleep, and memory problems even if the Hippocampus was not involved in the original trauma:

" Humans and other mammals have two hippocampi, one in each side of the brain. It belongs to the limbic system and plays important roles in the consolidation of information from short-term memory to long-term memory and spatial navigation. The hippocampus is located under the cerebral cortex;[1] and in primates it is located in the medial temporal lobe, underneath the cortical surface. It contains two main interlocking parts: Ammon's horn[2] and the dentate gyrus." wikipedia

Meaning that after the trauma had occurred, further distruction to the Hippocampus will result independently in susceptible individuals.  Science has learned that Macrophages that come to clean-up to debris and scavenge the abnormalities, will also liberate Cytokines that, for repair efforts mainly, but for lack of specificity to receptors, and by being discharged in distant milieu, will induce the PTSD!   These effects are most dramatic in the post-synaptic nerve cell distant from the trauma location!   Suffice is to say that Various interventions are trying to minimize to slow the processes at the trauma occurrence and subsequently...The department of defense (DOD) is working feverishly of some of these questions  (at least we hope!).  The thing is it is the Cytokines we are most focused on!

POST RADIATION TO THE BRAIN, "PTSD" happens.  It is well known that patient who underwent Radiation to the Brain for any reasons may end-up with "post radiation dementia"  This is one of the many reason some balk at Radiation post a successful treatment in limited stage small cell lung cancer despite the standard recommendation of PCI (premature Cranial Irradiation) at completion of treatment!

In COPD!
almost a parallel thing happens!
Indeed as a result of insults from smoking, and constant havocs by smoking occasions, inflammations and subsequent scars are caused to happens by our friendly smokers!  And innocent bystanders experience the wrath of the phenomena we come to know as the "secondary smoking".  And well beyond the inflammatory insults of smoking, well beyond the scarring of the lungs from smoking, there is a secondary secretion of cytokines to the presence of the "scars".   Indeed, when you think of the scars as a inert "object", in a living cellular environment, scars are made of chemical substances that the cell continue to (in a reflex) interact with
and somewhere in there cytokines of certain different kinds are constantly being secreted, affecting receptors including some at distant locations!   It is believed that this is how aging and certain diseases noted in elderly are generated...

TO BE CONTINUED!

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