The immune system protects the body from potentially harmful substances by recognizing and destroying substances called antigens. Antigens are foreign proteins in the body that reside on the surface of cells, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. Nonliving toxins, chemicals, or foreign substances can also be antigens. The immune system destroys these antigens to prevent them from harming the body.
Sometimes the immune system triggers a reaction when someone eats a particular food or breathes in pollen. These reactions are called allergic reactions or allergies, and are due to an over-sensitive immune system. In some cases they can lead to anaphylaxis, which is a severe and sometimes fatal allergic reaction.
An over-sensitive or over-active immune system can also lead to auto-immune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis or multiple sclerosis. In these diseases, the immune system has an inappropriate defensive response to substances and tissues normally present in the body. The most common treatments for autoimmune diseases are immunosuppressant medications, which often have unpleasant side effects.
Artemis Institute for Clinical Research conducts clinical trials of investigative medications for the treatment of various allergies and immune-system conditions. Qualified adults participating in a research study may be eligible to receive financial compensation for time and travel, study-related medical and psychological evaluations, and the investigative study medication at no cost.
If you suffer from an allergy or immune system condition and would like to volunteer for a study, or if you know someone suffering from an allergy or immune system condition who may want to volunteer, please send us your request using the Join a Study form, or call us toll-free at 855-DoStudies (855.367.8834).