Streams

An Epidemic of Absence: Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the use of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for thousands of years. But growing evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections have also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. Science journalist Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest research into the prevalence of allergies and autoimmune disorders, explores new treatments, and looks at the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. His book is An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases.

Guests:

Moises Velasquez-Manoff

Comments [5]

jv from NYC Metro

Great program although we need to be careful about quick fixes such as eating dirt.

We are learning more about how our immune systems develop and evolve. We should not be overly paranoid about microbes. We must be more careful about antibiotic usage and overuse of bactericides.

More shows like this would help promote informed public debate.

Dec. 26 2012 01:43 PM
GH from Queens

Sperm has extremely potent immune suppressing agents. Women's immune systems have evolved to be more flexible than men's as they have to deal with foreign cells to be impregnated as well as to carry a child to term.
Putting aside all the loaded issues of value judgements and sticking to pure immunology, I believe that these factors are very important in understanding why AIDS is so prevalent amongst homosexuals as opposed to heterosexuals

Dec. 26 2012 01:42 PM
jade

@g
I have an autoimmune disorder. I explain it as one that "won't kill me, just keep me miserable". Even untreated, it wouldn't kill me, and would have no bearing on my ability to have kids.

Dec. 26 2012 01:42 PM
Ken from New Jersey

How about Herpes Zoaster (shingles) and the resulting post herpetic neuralgia? Any hop?

Dec. 26 2012 01:38 PM
g from staten island

Just a lay-person here--no medical training. But, what about the idea that people born today with severe asthma, autoimmune disease, etc--that once might have been fatal, are now being treated and surviving long enough to bear their own children--and pass on any previously fatal, genetic medical condition to the next generations.

Dec. 26 2012 01:09 PM

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