Autoimmune disease explained

Autoimmune disease explained

An autoimmune disease occurs when the body's immune system is chronically overactive and attacks healthy cells.

Normally, our immune system protects our body and works to keep us healthy: it helps resist infection. But viruses and bacteria can rapidly mutate to evade the immune system; and so our immune system must mutate just as rapidly to protect us.

‘Bad mutations’ are an inevitable by-product of these rapid mutations, and it is these cells that are likely to multiply and form a ‘rogue clone’ in response to the body’s own tissues.

Hope Research will identify bad mutations in these cells, and use sophisticated gene editing techniques to determine the cellular consequences of particular combinations of bad mutations for gene expression patterns in the rogue cells.

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Autoimmune diseases studied by Hope

Ankylosing spondylitis

Autoimmune haemolytic anaemia    

Autoimmune vitiligo  

Bullous pemphigoid

Chronic inflammatory demyelinating neuropathy    

Coeliac disease          

CREST syndrome (limited scleroderma)        

Crohn’s disease


Essential mixed cryoglobulinemia     

Evans syndrome        

GBM disease (Goodpasture’s syndrome)

Giant cell arteritis      

Graves’ disease          

Guillain Barré syndrome        

Infective endocarditis associated vasculitis

Hashimoto’s disease (autoimmune hypothyroidism)           

Henoch Schonlein purpura    

IgA nephropathy        

IgG4 related disease

Immune thrombocytopenia

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus)        

Membranous nephropathy   

Microscopic polyangiitis

Motor neurone disease         

Multiple sclerosis       

Myasthenia gravis      

Neuromyelitis optica (Devic’s disease)

Pemphigus vulgaris    

Pernicious anaemia   


Primary biliary cirrhosis

Primary antiphospholipid syndrome 

Psoriatic arthritis       

Rheumatoid arthritis 


Scleroderma (systemic sclerosis)      

Sjögren's syndrome

Susac’s syndrome      

Sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis

Ulcerative colitis        

Wegener’s granulomatosis