Hypersensitivities and Autoimmunity


Hypersensitivity and Autoimmune issues have taken on a much larger role in the last 10-15 years.
Why have the number and types of childhood allergies increased over the last decade?
What is the final word on vaccination risks for infants and children?
These are just a few of the relevant topics often debated.
Research ONE of the topics below.
– Vaccines and autism
Research the history of the research that linked vaccines and autism. Be sure to review material/posts from
those who consider themselves as “anti-vaccine” if present.
– Increase in childhood allergies
Using materials from the Centers of Disease Control, evaluate trends in childhood allergies. Include information
about existing theories regarding the increase in allergies over the last decade.
– “Hygiene hypothesis” of allergies
The “hygiene hypothesis” puts forth the idea that the increase in childhood allergies is due to children living in
environments that are “too clean.” Research immune system development in childhood and living
environments most and least likely to be associated with allergies.
– Gender and autoimmune diseases
Women are ten times more likely to suffer from some autoimmune disorders than are men. Examine
hypotheses that attempt to explain this difference.
– Difficulty in autoimmune disease diagnosis
Discuss different diagnostic tests available for various autoimmune disorders. Examine patient stories about
the difficulty in obtaining a diagnosis for some autoimmune conditions.
– Desensitization strategies for allergies
Report to classmates about the desensitization protocol and which allergies respond best to this treatment.


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