Our immune system is made up of a complex array of cells and tissue, specialized proteins, organs, and a network of vessels called the lymphatic system. Its job is to protect our body against fatigue, infections and to destroy harmful substances.
Infection or injury switch our immune system into gear and trigger a chain of events called the inflammatory cascade. Chemicals such as histamine, bradykinin, and prostaglandins are released, white blood cells destroy infecting organisms, and glia help protect nerve cells. The end result of this complicated system is aimed at recovery back to normal. But sometimes things get out of hand.
Gerwyn Morris from Deakin University and his colleagues discuss the extensive amounts of evidence linking debilitating fatigue with an over-reactive immune system, persistent inflammation, oxidative stress, disruption of normal glial function and subsequent mitochondrial damage.
Targeting these interlinked processes with compounds such as antioxidants to relieve oxidative stress may show benefit in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease and systemic lupus erythematosus, which all share fatigue as a common complaint.