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 What are symptoms?  

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What are symptoms? How are they constructed/perceived?

Re. Immunology (3rd Ed), by Kuby, Chap 17

"An immune response evokes a battery of effector molecules that act to remove antigen by various mechanisms. Generally, these effector molecules induce a sub clinical, localised inflammatory response that eliminates antigen without extensive tissue damage to the host. However, the inflammatory response can sometimes cause significant tissue damage or death (hypersensitivity or allergy). "

So, the immune response is usually "sub clinical", which I assume means without symptoms....the sufferer barely senses what is going on, though at some stage this may change.

The assumption seems to be that the toxicity & damage to the tissues as well as all the circulating immune system products, relay information to the brain which presents as symptoms such as pain and fever, which are then "perceived". And there are so many symptoms and manifestations - thousands of them, yet, in Medical Science, there is no study of what they actually are, nor their mechanism of generation.

The point I am making is that none of these books on immunology/microbiology/pathology ever cover, nor even mention, the significant steps between the immune system activities and the Brain's functions resulting in the generation of both objective and perceived symptoms.

I suppose the above branches of Medical Science consider this question to be outside their field. But, who's field is it, then?

The vague sub-discipline of "symptomology" is no more than a dictionary or thesaurus for lay people. It just describes symptoms and links them to diseases - it says nothing of what they are, nor how they are generated.

Some people would point to a local inflammation and say the Brain is barely involved in the associated symptoms - but it is - because all awareness of sensation (even the illusion that it is coming from that tissue) is actually constructed in the Brain.

SUMMARY During the immune inflammatory response, a great deal of information is passed to the Brain which takes actions expressed as a myriad of symptoms, produced by some unknown means.

FEVER Take as an example, the acute inflammatory response of immunology. The local inflammatory response is accompanied by a systemic response called the acute-phase response, i.e., induction of fever, increased synthesis of hormones like ACTH and hydrocortisone, increased white cells & certain Liver proteins, increased temperature inhibits growth of certain pathogens and enhances immune response to pathogens.

Induction of fever is via Cytokines (IL-1,TNF-alpha,IL-6) acting on the hypothalamus to release prostaglandins. The Cytokines are produced by activated macrophages at the site of inflammation.


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