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Manifestations of chronic inflammation

Inflammations are, as a defensive reaction against pathogens, a natural process of the immune system. However, if they get out of control, they can even lead to diseases.

Virtually all organs and tissues can be affected by chronic inflammation, which show quite different clinical pictures. Often, several organs can be affected simultaneously.

Organs often affected by chronic inflammation are the barrier organs, which are in direct contact with the environment. They include, for example, the intestines, the skin and the lungs, which occupy a central role in the Cluster of Excellence "Inflammation at Interfaces". Indeed, research is being conducted on many other disease patterns, since the Cluster's primary goal is understanding the principles of chronic inflammation, which are at the bottom of all chronic inflammations, independent of the affected organs.

Many different tissues can be affected

Numerous diseases are associated with chronic inflammation: skin diseases such as psoriasis and atopic dermatitis, diseases of the gut such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, diseases of the brain such as multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease, the lungs such as asthma, the joints such as rheumatoid arthritis, and the gums such as periodontitis. Chronic inflammation also plays an importante role in lifestyle-related diseases such as diabetes, obesity, atherosclerosis and myocardial infarction, not as the sole cause of these diseases but as part of a complex disease process. Even if the inflammation manifests itself on the skin, the intestine or the joints - it is never a pure skin, bowel or joint disease. Chronic inflammations are systemic diseases, they affect not only one organ, but the entire body, and must therefore also be viewed holistically.

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