For the second consecutive year, Dr. Gary Kaplan was invited to present at the Walter Reed National Military Center’s monthly acupuncture webinars. The purpose of these webinars is to bring experts in the fields of chronic pain and acupuncture to share their expertise and treatment strategies with the medical staff at the center.
This year, Dr. Kaplan elaborated on the concept of autoimmunity and the role of the adaptive immune system and the gut microbiome in the onset of autoimmune diseases following an infection.
Autoimmunity is when the body loses self-tolerance and starts attacking its own tissues and organs resulting in either an organ-specific autoimmune disease, such as Type 1 Diabetes or a systemic autoimmune disease such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS) and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE).
About 5% of the US population suffers from an autoimmune disease, although Dr. Kaplan believes that this percentage may not account for all of the autoimmune diseases that are caused by viral and bacterial infections.
Dr. Kaplan also discussed the mechanisms of autoimmunity by which the immune cells get activated in a disorganized manner and start mistakenly attacking healthy cells, the tests we utilize here at The Kaplan Center to determine if there is an autoimmune process going on, and how to translate the data into actionable treatment strategies.
The title of Dr. Kaplan’s presentation was “Autoimmune Encephalopathy of Infectious Etiologies and their Role in Chronic Pain and Depression.”