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An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases

by

An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases Cover

ISBN13: 9781439199398
ISBN10: 1439199396
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A brilliant, cutting-edge exploration of the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune diseases and the controversial, potentially groundbreaking therapies that scientists are developing to correct these disorders

Whether it is asthma, food or pollen allergies, type-1 diabetes, lupus, multiple sclerosis, or Crohn’s disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that’s because it has—to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five—and likely more—Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explains the latest thinking about this problem and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works.

In the past 150 years, improved sanitation, water treatment, and the advent of vaccines and antibiotics have saved countless lives, nearly eradicating diseases that had plagued humanity for millennia. But now, a growing body of evidence suggests that the very steps we took to combat infections also eliminated organisms that kept our bodies in balance. The idea that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global “epidemic of absence,” they must restore the human ecosystem.

This groundbreaking book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy”—deliberate infection with parasitic worms—in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers’ children so rarely get hay fever, why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries, and how one cancer-causing bacterium may be good for us. It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy. In the future, preventive treatment—something as simple as a probiotic—will necessarily begin before birth.

An Epidemic of Absence asks what will happen in developing countries, which, as they become more affluent, have already seen an uptick in allergic disease: Will India end up more allergic than Europe? Velasquez-Manoff also details a controversial underground movement that has coalesced around the treatment of immune-mediated disorders with parasites. Against much of his better judgment, he joins these do-it-yourselfers and reports his surprising results.

An Epidemic of Absence considers the critical immune stimuli we inadvertently lost as we modernized, and the modern ills we may be able to correct by restoring them. At stake is nothing less than our health, and that of our loved ones. Researchers, meanwhile, have the good fortune of living through a paradigm shift, one of those occasional moments in the progress of science when a radically new way of thinking emerges, shakes things up, and suggests new avenues of treatment. You’ll discover that you’re not you at all, but a bustling collection of organisms, an ecosystem whose preservation and integrity require the utmost attention and care.

Synopsis:

From asthma to Crohn’s disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that’s because it has—to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five—and likely more—Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? One possibility is that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness; this belief challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global “epidemic of absence,” they must restore the human ecosystem.

This groundbreaking book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy”—deliberate infection with parasitic worms—in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers’ children so rarely get hay fever, why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries, and how one cancer-causing bacterium may be good for us. It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy.

An Epidemic of Absence is a brilliant, cutting-edge exploration of the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune diseases and the controversial, potentially groundbreaking therapies that scientists are developing to correct these disorders.

Synopsis:

A brilliant, groundbreaking report on the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune disease, and the controversial therapies scientists are developing to correct these disorders.

Whether it's asthma, diabetes, Crohn's disease, food or pollen allergies, everyone knows someone who suffers from an autoimmune or allergic disorder. These days no fewer than one in five Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explores the latest thinking on these problems and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works.

About the Author

Moises Velasquez-Manoff covered science and the environment for The Christian Science Monitor, and his work has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and Slate, among other publications. He graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism’s Master of Arts program, with a concentration in science writing.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

giantsfan503 , November 14, 2014 (view all comments by giantsfan503 )
There have been many great books that provide a different way of thinking about managing and treating allergies. In "an epidemic of absence" Manoff thinks out of the box and provides examples and facts which show how treating allergies and other autoimmune diseases with worm therapy could show potential promise. This is a great read for anyone who is interested in learning more about how food allergies and autoimmune diseases work, how they are diagnosed in current society, and what is currently being done to treat and manage the diseases.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439199398
Author:
Velasquez Manoff, Moises
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Author:
Velasquez-Manoff, Moises
Subject:
Developmental Biology
Subject:
Biography/Medical
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn’s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sc
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn’s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sc
Subject:
Health and Medicine-Medical Specialties
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn’s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sc
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sclerosi
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sclerosi
Subject:
autoimmune; allergic disorder; allergy; asthma; Crohn s Disease; food allergies; pollen allergies; immune disease; autoimmune cure; health; hygiene; vaccines; antibiotics; immune system; parasitic worms; worm therapy; immune malfunction; multiple sclerosi
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20130931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Biography » Medical
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » General
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Science and Mathematics » Biology » General
Science and Mathematics » Biology » Microbiology

An Epidemic of Absence: A New Way of Understanding Allergies and Autoimmune Diseases New Trade Paper
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Product details 416 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781439199398 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , From asthma to Crohn’s disease, everyone knows someone who suffers from an allergic or autoimmune disorder. And if it appears that the prevalence of these maladies has increased recently, that’s because it has—to levels never before seen in human history. These days no fewer than one in five—and likely more—Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? One possibility is that we have systematically cleaned ourselves to illness; this belief challenges deeply entrenched notions about the value of societal hygiene and the harmful nature of microbes. Yet scientists investigating the rampant immune dysfunction in the developed world have inevitably arrived at this conclusion. To address this global “epidemic of absence,” they must restore the human ecosystem.

This groundbreaking book explores the promising but controversial “worm therapy”—deliberate infection with parasitic worms—in development to treat autoimmune disease. It explains why farmers’ children so rarely get hay fever, why allergy is less prevalent in former Eastern Bloc countries, and how one cancer-causing bacterium may be good for us. It probes the link between autism and a dysfunctional immune system. It investigates the newly apparent fetal origins of allergic disease—that a mother’s inflammatory response imprints on her unborn child, tipping the scales toward allergy.

An Epidemic of Absence is a brilliant, cutting-edge exploration of the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune diseases and the controversial, potentially groundbreaking therapies that scientists are developing to correct these disorders.

"Synopsis" by , A brilliant, groundbreaking report on the dramatic rise of allergic and autoimmune disease, and the controversial therapies scientists are developing to correct these disorders.

Whether it's asthma, diabetes, Crohn's disease, food or pollen allergies, everyone knows someone who suffers from an autoimmune or allergic disorder. These days no fewer than one in five Americans suffers from one of these ailments. We seem newly, and bafflingly, vulnerable to immune system malfunction. Why? Science writer Moises Velasquez-Manoff explores the latest thinking on these problems and explores the remarkable new treatments in the works.

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