Sufferers from psoriasis may be in for some good news. A July 25, 2011 article on Sciencedaily.com reported that research from the Centre for Allergy and Environment in Munich (ZAUM), the Helmholtz Zentrum München and the Technische Universität München may have made some significant inroads as to the cause of this disorder.
Researchers believe that psoriasis may be the unfortunate result of an impaired immunological memory. According to their findings, the immune system's T cells seem to trigger an inflammatory response which can cause psoriasis.
T cells work with B cells to create the immunological memory of the body. When these cells encounter foreign substances an immune response is set off.
In the case of psoriasis, it is uncertain at this time if T cells are triggering an immune response when they recognize substances like pollen, house-dust mites or bacteria. This does happen with atopic eczema (neurodermatitis). Further research is required to learn more about this possible response and psoriasis.
Data from this research was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
T cells are thymus cells that belong to a group of white blood cells called lymphocytes. The thymus is the organ that produces T cells and nurtures them to maturation. There are numerous types of T cells and each type has its own unique role.
When the immune system recognizes and attacks foreign substances that have been encountered previously, this is a function of immunological memory. Essentially, the immune system "remembers" these pathogens and dispatches them swiftly and efficiently.
According to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) psoriasis has its origins in the immune system. The main players are the immune system's white blood cells called T cells which defend against disease and infection.
Normally T cells' accomplishments are to our benefit as they protect us from illness and toxins. However some T cells have an inappropriate reaction, attacking the body as they would foreign invaders. This is called an autoimmune response.