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Targeting Inflammation

January 24, 2013

A growing understanding of inflammation may lead to new therapies for many diseases.

Transcript

BOB HIRSHON (host):

Why inflammation is a hot target.  I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Inflammation causes cell damage in a wide range of diseases, from atherosclerosis to Alzheimer’s. But blocking it over a long period of time is dangerous, since it’s involved in healing and fighting infections. Columbia University biologist Ira Tabas co-authored a paper in the journal Science about the future of anti-inflammatory therapies.  He says one strategy is to tap into the body’s own anti-inflammatory process.

IRA TABAS (Columbia University):

So every time you have a normal inflammatory event, your body has a very sophisticated mechanism for turning it off, and for repairing your tissues.

HIRSHON:
Researchers have identified some of the molecules involved, which could potentially stop harmful inflammation without blocking it elsewhere. Other techniques include targeting anti-inflammatory drugs to precise locations, or finding new ways to keep the offending agent, from causing inflammation in the first place. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.