Our knowledge of diseases and the human body has increased exponentially in the past 100 years. Since the last century, we can now safely transfuse blood, transplant hearts, make babies in test tubes, clone animals, and recite the whole human DNA genome – although that would take you about 100 years! But in spite of coming so far…we still have a long way to go.
You know that you’re at the cutting edge of research when attendees at a recent conference on Neuroinflammation in Taos, New Mexico, spent a significant period of time actually grappling with the definition of neuroinflammation. Currently, the term is defined as inflammation of a nerve or part of the nervous system. But as one speaker pointed out, “When you need to use part of the word you’re defining to define it, then no one really knows what the word means!”
We know that neuroinflammation can occur as a result of oxidative stress and is associated with a number of different disease states such as Alzheimer’s disease, Multiple sclerosis, and Stroke.
We also know that the process of neuroinflammation is supposed to be a process of control and repair; however it ends up destroying sensitive nerve tissue and worsening outcomes.
But what we don’t know is what comes first, i.e., does neuroinflammation cause disease or does disease cause neuroinflammation?
But maybe we don’t have to wait another 100 years to find out. Since the last conference in 2006, the number of papers dedicated to this field has increased 10-fold. Many experts are keen to accelerate their knowledge and breakthroughs in understanding more about nerves and nerve inflammation are only an impulse away.
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