Rheumatology in Geriatrics

  • Marc L. Miller
  • Fred G. Kantrowitz
  • Edward W. Campion


Age-related alterations in the immune system have been described in the normal population. Decrease in immune response to foreign antigens resulting in an acquired immunodeficiency state and an increase in autoantibody production occur simultaneously with aging. Much conflicting experimental evidence exists concerning the precise abnormalities responsible for these changes in immune responsiveness, but several points are clear.1,2 Decrease in thymic function appears to be central to age-related immune changes. Involution of the thymus gland occurs in normal individuals after sexual maturation. It appears likely that the loss of thymic tissue, in which T-lymphocyte maturation and differentiation occur, and the loss of thymic hormones that exert a systemic influence on the immune system both contribute to changes in immunoregulation in aging.


Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Articular Cartilage Ankylose Spondylitis Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Patient Giant Cell Arteritis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marc L. Miller
    • 1
    • 2
  • Fred G. Kantrowitz
    • 1
    • 2
  • Edward W. Campion
    • 3
    • 4
  1. 1.Beth Israel HospitalBostonUSA
  2. 2.Harvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA
  3. 3.Geriatrics UnitMassachusetts General HospitalBostonUSA
  4. 4.Division on AgingHarvard Medical SchoolBostonUSA

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