Trending December 2023 # 9 Autoimmune Diseases That Affect Your Appearance # Suggested January 2024 # Top 17 Popular

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An autoimmune disease can be defined as a situation wherein a person’s immune system starts attacking the body rather than defending itself from foreign threats such as bacteria and viruses. The immune systems are primarily responsible for protecting the body. There is no definite reason why the immune system sometimes responds to the body this way. There exist more than 100 types of autoimmune diseases in nature. Some of them include systemic lupus, diabetes, and arthritis.

Based on the type of autoimmune disease, the immune system may target and affect different tissues and organs of a person’s body. As a result, the person may feel pain, rashes, fatigue, headaches, nausea, and other effects. For example, arthritis affects the joints and muscles in the human body. Crohn’s disease targets the digestive tract of a human being. Graves’ disease affects the endocrine system of the human being.

Autoimmune diseases affecting the appearance

Many types of autoimmune diseases exist, affecting different organs and tissues of the body. Around nine types of autoimmune diseases exist that affect a person’s appearance. These diseases are discussed in detail as follows −


This is an inflammatory autoimmune skin disease. This type of disease occurs in a person’s body when the body produces new skin cells too quickly than required. The existing skin cells are not old enough to be shed from the body. As a result of this, the old skin cells and the new skin cells pile up and cause itchy rashes. These effects can be found in the scalp, knees, elbows, and back areas. This type of autoimmune disease can be cured by consistent treatment involving prescribed creams and medications, phototherapies, and some simple changes in the person’s lifestyle.

Alopecia Areata

This autoimmune disease causes the immune system to target and attack a person’s hair follicles. The symptoms of this disease include a person suddenly starting to lose large amounts of hair and causing a circular bald patch in a person’s body. As a result of this disease, a person may lose all the hair present in their body. There does not exist any cure for this type of autoimmune disease yet. However, there are many ways by which hair growth can be regenerated or restarted in a person’s body.


This type of autoimmune disease causes the immune system of the person’s body to target and destroy the body cells that produce pigment. These cells are also called melanocytes. In this situation, the affected area’s skin loses all stains and turns white. The affected areas include hair, eyes, and mouth insides. There is no cure for this autoimmune disease. However, there are many methods by which the pigment can be restored to bring back the skin tone.


In this autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the thyroid. The thyroid gland produces low thyroid hormones, which slows the overall metabolism. The person experiences dryness in the skin, loss of hair in the body, and weight gain. The general treatment includes taking a pill at regular intervals containing artificially made hormones. The symptoms start improving as soon as the condition returns to normal.

Rheumatoid arthritis

In this autoimmune disease, the immune system attacks the joint tissues. This causes the joints in the hands and feet to become swollen and painful. The symptoms of this disease can be decreased by physical therapies, exercises, and taking standard prescribed medications that reduce the swelling of the joints of the person’s body.

Type 1 Diabetes Lupus

This autoimmune disease causes inflammation and rashes in the body when the immune system attacks various tissues and organs. The most common symptom of this type of disease is when a rash that resembles the shape of a butterfly across the nose and cheeks. These can be easily treated by consuming prescribed anti-inflammatory drugs and anti-malarial drugs.


This is another inflammatory disease when the immune system attacks the body tissues. The symptoms of this disease include rashes on the face, shoulders, knuckles, and eyelids. This disease is generally found in people aged 5-15 and 40-60. This type of autoimmune disease can be treated with immunosuppressants and corticosteroid medications.

Pernicious Anemia

Due to the absence of a single, overarching cause, the precise mechanism that initiates the beginning of an autoimmune disease might differ from one type of autoimmunity-related sickness to another. This is because there is no single cause. The prevalence rate is roughly 2:1 for females, reflecting that females are more likely to be affected by these diseases. Several autoimmune disorders can affect a woman’s capacity to conceive a child or her hormonal swings. Some of these diseases include lupus and multiple sclerosis. This is probably because male and female chromosomes store information that’s slightly different from one another. There is a connection between genetics and various types of autoimmune diseases. As a result, an individual must have a solid understanding of the history of their own family.


People at a greater risk of developing an autoimmune disease should make an appointment with their primary care physician to undergo diagnostic testing and examination to determine whether or not they already have an autoimmune disorder. This can be done by determining whether or not they have already been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder. If they are diagnosed, the most important thing for them is to get started as soon as possible on the appropriate treatments and medications for their disease to decrease the toll it takes on their bodies.

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9 Portable Apps For Windows That You Need In Your Pocket

By now the number of flash drives and USB sticks that you’ve accrued in your life is probably creeping into double figures, as they lie listlessly in your drawer while you figure out whether you should turn them into dedicated movie drives or something equally creative.

So here’s an idea for you: you could fill one of your spare flash drives with portable apps which you can run directly from the disks and plug and play in whatever computer you like. Here are the best ones out there to get you started.

1. Search Everything

The Windows search tool never really quite cuts it when it comes to finding better-hidden files, and the files that it does find it tends to take its sweet time doing so. Voidtools’ Search Everything has for a long time been the go-to app for Windows users needing to dig deeper, offering super-fast indexing and searching within a simple minimal interface.

The portable version means that whatever PC you jump on, you’ll be able to find the files you need in a cinch.

2. Notepad++

Whether you’re looking to do some text editing or tweaking the config files in games and emulators, Notepad++ is the best tool for the job. The things you’d do in Notepad by default become much easier in Notepad++, thanks to proper tabbed editing and an interface that numbers each line of code or text for a clearer picture of what you’re doing.

It may not be much to look at but is highly customizable and essential for anyone who wants to quickly burrow into files and edit them under the hood.

3. Google Chrome

Portable web browsers let you surf the Web (anyone still refer to it as that?) without leaving any trace of your personal information like browsing history, cookies, login sessions, etc. on the computer. Obviously, as soon as you’re connected to the Web with the portable version of Google Chrome and use your Google accounts, your data will inevitably end up in the company’s vaults, but Chrome users are aware of that by now. The fact remains that it’s the best browser around (and certainly better than an outdated version of Internet Explorer if you’re in an Internet cafe).

4. 7-Zip

Not long ago, we wrote that 7-Zip is the best file compression tool around, doing the job that much more quickly than its closest rivals. 7-Zip is a free and open-source application with a high compression ratio and powerful file manager and is worthy of keeping around in your USB portable apps collection for when you need to do some quick compressing.

5. GIMP 6. VLC Media Player

VLC has long since been the fastest, most robust video player out there, and being portable makes it even better. Using VLC media player as a portable, you can play a vast number of formats – such as MKV – alongside the standard MP4 that makes up most movies. It has just about all the video codecs you need built in, too, so there’s no need to download extra ones.

7. LastPass

LastPass is a great password manager which lets you securely store and manage all your passwords. It garbles and encrypts your passwords and stores them online. (Don’t worry, it’s very safe.) Handily, the portable version integrates with portable web browsers like Firefox and Chrome.

8. CCleaner

CCleaner is a free Windows cleanup utility, which lets you clean such junk as redundant registry keys, cookies, and excess temporary files. If you want to wipe your web browsing after you’ve been in an Internet cafe, for example, then you can just pop in a USB stick with the portable version of CCleaner on it, then use it to wipe all your browsing history. (And you can let it clean up the entire computer while you’re at it!)

9. LibreOffice

LibreOffice is my favorite alternative to Microsoft Office. The open-source suite contains equivalents to Word, PowerPoint and Excel and has much the same compatibility and functionality as Office. The portable version brings all the power of the entire suite to whatever PC you’re on, without having to go through the tedious process of installing it all before using it.


A good way to think of portable apps is that they’re your personal computing setup on a USB stick, ready to be used on any Windows PC you plug into. Obviously, each person has different needs, and there are hundreds of portable apps out there, so if you don’t find what you need in this list, don’t let that put you off searching for the portable apps you really need!

This article was first published in October 2014 and was updated in June 2023.

Robert Zak

Content Manager at Make Tech Easier. Enjoys Android, Windows, and tinkering with retro console emulation to breaking point.

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How Robots Will Affect Human Life?

Regarding the impact of robots, there is a major debate among people about whether their effect would be positive or negative. The use of robots is growing around us. The following article aims to list the major effects robots will have on human life.  

Free-up Workload

Robots generally complete work that is monotonous or strenuous for human beings. The

Cheap and Convenient

Robots can bring down the cost of goods and services because it would decrease the price of labour. It would give a greater number of people access to things that might have previously been out of their means. Certain jobs, like crop planting and harvesting, require a great deal of physical strength and fortitude to perform. They also tend to be harder to do. Robots can do all of this work. 

Better Availability of Goods and Services

Robots can make ten times more goods and services than human labour, which would increase the rate of production and the availability of everything to people. For example, if human labour can make ten bowls, a robot would make 100 bowls in its place, which would help a lot more people to have the benefit of using bowls. On the other hand, it would also reduce the manufacturing cost of the bowls and it would make prices of the bowls cheaper. In effect, it would make those products available to people in large numbers.  

Balance in Work and Personal life

Having help from robots in their everyday work, people will have more balance in their work and personal life. Those who would lose their job due to the automation systems would be able to find new positions and learn new skills. It would also help them to understand the real value that human employees bring to the organisation.  

Household Service Healthcare Services

Regarding the impact of robots, there is a major debate among people about whether their effect would be positive or negative. The use of robots is growing around us. The following article aims to list the major effects robots will have on human life.Robots generally complete work that is monotonous or strenuous for human beings. The aim of making robots is not to replace humans, but it is to free them from the tedium of performing most of the basic and low-level tasks. Tasks like coordinating schedules or managing correspondence do not require human intelligence and they can be easily done by robots. It would leave humans to do more important work that would require human intelligence.Robots can bring down the cost of goods and services because it would decrease the price of labour. It would give a greater number of people access to things that might have previously been out of their means. Certain jobs, like crop planting and harvesting, require a great deal of physical strength and fortitude to perform. They also tend to be harder to do. Robots can do all of this work. Robots can perform a lot of work like helping in the farm works, doing the labour work in industries and other works that take a lot of time. Robots doing these tasks will help in reducing the cost of human labour.Robots can make ten times more goods and services than human labour, which would increase the rate of production and the availability of everything to people. For example, if human labour can make ten bowls, a robot would make 100 bowls in its place, which would help a lot more people to have the benefit of using bowls. On the other hand, it would also reduce the manufacturing cost of the bowls and it would make prices of the bowls cheaper. In effect, it would make those products available to people in large numbers.Having help from robots in their everyday work, people will have more balance in their work and personal life. Those who would lose their job due to the automation systems would be able to find new positions and learn new skills. It would also help them to understand the real value that human employees bring to the organisation. Robots can immensely help in doing household chores that would save a lot of time and energy. People will be able to concentrate on valuable ways to spend their time. They will also have a lot of free time to do things they like instead of wasting their time cleaning and chúng tôi it comes to healthcare, robots can provide more accurate results in tests and diagnosis than humans. Robots are now used not only in the operating room but also in clinical settings to support health workers and enhance patient care. During the COVID-19 pandemic, hospitals and clinics began deploying robots for a much wider range of tasks to help reduce exposure to pathogens. It’s become clear that the operational efficiencies and risk reduction provided by health robotics offer value in many areas.

Kb4598229 And Kb4598242 Affect System And User Certificates

KB4598229 and KB4598242 affect system and user certificates




Patch Tuesday is finally here, and it brings changes to all versions of Windows 10.

This includes cumulative update KB4598229 and KB4598242 for Windows 10 v1903/1909 and Windows 10 v2004/v20H2

This update affects user certificates after updates, removing them during the update process.

Read more about the changes below, and update your system as soon as possible!



To fix Windows PC system issues, you will need a dedicated tool

Fortect is a tool that does not simply cleans up your PC, but has a repository with several millions of Windows System files stored in their initial version. When your PC encounters a problem, Fortect will fix it for you, by replacing bad files with fresh versions. To fix your current PC issue, here are the steps you need to take:

Download Fortect and install it on your PC.

Start the tool’s scanning process to look for corrupt files that are the source of your problem

Fortect has been downloaded by


readers this month.

With the arrival of the first Patch Tuesday updates of the year, users already had big expectations for what was to come, especially considering how eventful 2023 was.

Well, the January Patch Tuesday updates weren’t a let-down at all, as it brought many fixes to all major version of Windows 10, from version 1507 to version 20H2.

As always, each cumulative update is different than the other, since each version of Windows is different from one another.

Because of this, it’s only natural that some cumulative updates stand out because of what new features they bring, or what system-breaking bug they fix, and that is definitely the case with KB4598229 and KB4598242.

KB4598229 and KB4598242 may affect user certificates

According to Microsoft’s own changelog:

System and user certificates might be lost when updating a device from Windows 10, version 1809 or later to a later version of Windows 10.

Devices will only be impacted if they have already installed any Latest cumulative update (LCU) released September 16, 2023 or later and then proceed to update to a later version of Windows 10 from media or an installation source which does not have an LCU released October 13, 2023 or later integrated.

This primarily happens when managed devices are updated using outdated bundles or media through an update management tool such as Windows Server Update Services (WSUS) or Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager.

This might also happen when using outdated physical media or ISO images that do not have the latest updates integrated.

However, Microsoft wanted it to be noted that devices using Windows Update for Business or that connect directly to Windows Update are not impacted.

They added that all devices connecting to Windows Update should always receive the latest versions of the feature update.

They also provided users with a workaround to this feature suggesting that users simply perform a system rollback to before they applied the update.

They also went ahead and provided users with a detailed guide on how to do so too.

Given the changes, we recommend that anyone running Windows 10 v1903/v1909 should postpone the update of their PC until a fix is found.

If you don’t have much experience with how Patch Tuesday works, we’ve prepared an in-depth article where we will guide you every step of the way with useful information.

Additionally, if you don’t want to wait for Patch Tuesday to become available in your region and want it right away, we have created this amazing article that acts as both a changelog and a source of download links from the Windows Update Catalog.

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9 Best Hdmi Cables For Your Tv Or Monitor

9 Best HDMI Cables For Your TV or Monitor [Cyber Monday] How much should a good HDMI cable cost? As little as possible if you grab a good deal




Many wonder if picking a cheap HDMI cable makes a difference. If you’re after an HDMI cable for TV, it sure does.

Fortunately, you needn’t worry about insane price tags if you grab the bust buy.

25 ft long, 4K, and more – you name it, we got it, so don’t miss out on these awesome HDMI cable Cyber Monday deals.

HDMI cables replaced old VGA and DVI cables completely, and almost every device has an HDMI output or input.

HDMI cables are a necessity, if you’re looking to buy new HDMI cables, you might want to check out some of these cables.

Note: All the prices and offers in this article are subject to change, so be sure to check the official product page to get the latest deal. If the product or offer you’re looking for is no longer available, you can try to find it on its official manufacturer page or get another one from our list.

Compatible with all HDMI devices

Features: Audio Return Channel (ARC), HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), 48 Bit Deep Color, 32 channel audio, HDCP, and 3D video

Supported resolution: 4Kx2K (UHD), 3840×2160, 2560×1600, 2560×1440, 1920×1200, and 1080p

Audio: 5.1 and 7.1 Dolby True HD and DTS-HD Master Audio

Gold-plated connectors, bare copper conductors, foil and braid shielding

Length: 3 feet

Doesn’t work with Dell U2718Q 4K monitor

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Cable Matters 3 Pack High-Speed HDMI Cables offer support for 4K resolution as well as a number of additional features that you might need.

These cables are fully compatible with all HDMI devices, and each cable comes with a different color so you can easily differentiate your devices.

Compatibility with Blu-ray players, TV boxes, consoles, computers, all other HDMI devices


15 feet long

4K video at 60 Hz, 2160p, 48-bit/px color depth

Ethernet, 3D, 4K video, and Audio Return Channel (ARC)

Struggles at times with 4k image

Check price

AmazonBasics Braided HDMI Cable supports a wide range of features, and with the ability to share the Internet connection, you won’t have to use a separate Ethernet cable.

Although this device supports the latest standards, it’s fully compatible with older standards as well, so you won’t have to worry about compatibility.

Lastly, this cable is 15 feet long which should be more than enough for most users.

Compatibility: Compatible with Blu-ray players, HDTVs, and all other HDMI devices

6 feet long

4Kx2K (UHD) at 30 Hz, 48 bit/px color depth

Ethernet, 3D, 4K video and Audio Return Channel (ARC)

Copper wire and braided foil, gold-plated connectors

Could see some issues with the picture

Check price

Rankie HDMI Cable offers a durable and corrosion-resistant design, and with support for 4Kx2K video, it should be perfect for all types of multimedia.

The cable also supports Ethernet which is quite useful if you don’t want to use additional cables. With a length of 6 feet, it will be perfect for all hard-to-reach devices.

Compatible with HDTVs, Blu-Ray players, consoles, and all other HDMI devices

HD 2K @ 1080p, QHD @ 1440p, UHD 4k @ 2160p (up to 60 Hz over HDMI 2.0)

3D, Ethernet & Audio Return Channel

100% pure copper

Length: 1.5 feet

Could appear some quality issues

Check price

SecurOMax HDMI Cables provide 4K video at 60Hz if you’re using HDMI 2.0 connection. Additional features include Ethernet and an Audio return channel, so you won’t have to use any additional cables.

The cables are fully compatible with older HDMI standards and devices, but due to their length, these cables might not be perfect for those hard-to-reach devices.

Compatible with consoles, media players, HDTVs, UHD TVs

Construction: 28AWG pure copper conductors, triple shielding

Features: 3D video, UHD, Audio Return Channel (ARC), HDMI Ethernet Channel (HEC), 48 Bit Deep Color and more.

Resolution: 4Kx2K, 1440p, 1080p, 1080i, 720p, 480p, and 480i

Length: 25 feet

Mid-level cable quality

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Aurum Ultra Series High-Speed HDMI Cable provides amazing length, so you’ll be able to reach any HDMI device without issues.

The cable is quite durable and with support for 4K video and audio return and Ethernet, it’s perfect for all users that need a long high-quality HDMI cable.

Compatibility: Compatible with all HDMI devices, and HDMI ports v2.0, v1.4, and v1.3 standards

Video: UHD 4k @ 2160p, 2K HD @ 1080p, QHD @ 1440p, HD 720p

Features: 3D, Ethernet and Audio return channel

Construction: Trippe-shielded 100% pure oxygen-free bare copper, 24K gold-plated connectors

Length: 15 feet

Only for Android

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Expert tip:

Although the previous SecurOMax wasn’t quite long, this cable makes up for its shortcomings with a length of 15 feet which should be more than enough for most users.

Monoprice 121510 Premium HDMI Cable specifications:

Compatibility: Compatible with all HDMI devices

Resolution: 4K resolution at 60Hz

Features: 3D, multi-view video, dual streams, 28 AWG, 18Gbps bandwidth

Length: 25 feet

If you’re looking for a premium HDMI cable, then this model might be perfect for you. This cable offers a 4K resolution at 60Hz, so it’s perfect for all your multimedia needs.

⇒ Check price

C&E High-Speed HDMI Cable specifications:

Compatibility: HDMI 2.0/1.4a/1.4/1.3c/1.3b devices

Construction: Gold plated connectors and full shield

Features: Ethernet and Audio Return Channel, 3D, 10.2Gbps bandwidth

Resolution: 4K resolution @24Hz, 1080p

Length: 60 feet

C&E High-Speed HDMI Cable offers solid design and compatibility along with Ethernet and Audio return channels.

The cable can handle 4K resolution, but it’s limited to 24Hz which is its only flaw. On the other hand, this cable is 60 feet long, so it’s designed for extreme users that need to transfer HD signals over long distances.

⇒ Check price

Monoprice 109170 High Speed HDMI Cable specifications:

Compatibility: All HDMI devices

Features: 10.2 Gbps bandwidth, 28AWG

Length: 30 feet

We have to mention that this is a directional cable, so if you connect it the wrong way, you won’t get a single until you connect your cables properly.

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Scientists Are Trying To Treat Autoimmune Disease With Intestinal Worms

It takes a hookworm four to six weeks to travel through the human body and reach the gut, where it latches onto the small intestine and sucks blood to sustain itself.

That doesn’t just sound gross; it also sounds like a situation that would outrage the immune system into action. But if you take an endoscope and film these worms once they are ensconced in a human gut, says Alex Loukas, a molecular parasitologist at James Cook University, the area appears healthy rather than inflamed.

This bizarre observation hints that being worm-infested might have its upsides. To survive in the human body, hookworms and other gut-dwelling beasties have to be able to calm inflammation. Loukas and other researchers are investigating whether intestinal worms might be able to treat autoimmune and inflammatory conditions, from celiac disease to autism to allergies. The idea behind this experimental worm therapy is that squirmy creatures called helminths evolved alongside us and actually benefit our immune system.

“It looks like it could save a tremendous amount of human pain and suffering,” says William Parker, an associate professor of surgery at the Duke University School of Medicine. “But it needs to be investigated.”

Worm therapy has a mixed record in clinical trials. For years, people have opted not to wait for FDA approval, using worms to self-treat their illnesses at home. Still, researchers are continuing to study the benefits of worm therapy. Others are entranced by the notion of using the worms as inspiration for new, improved medications.

“What we’re trying to conserve isn’t friendly…It’s not a little baby doe with those big eyes or a baby fur seal,” says Garin Aglietti, owner of chúng tôi a Mexico-based helminth provider. “But they’re an important part of ecosystems.”

Scientists, doctors, and those who self-treat are exploring what roles helminths might play in the human ecosystem.

A worm by any other name

Intestinal worms have been our boon companions for many thousands of years. Today, around 24 percent of the world’s population is infected with soil-transmitted helminths. When people carry only a few worms, they’re often harmless. But in larger numbers, the parasites can cause problems such as abdominal pain and weakness. Hookworms can leave people anemic. In many parts of the world, children are often infected early in life—building up heavy burdens of worms. “It can have disastrous consequences on their physical and mental development,” Loukas says.

These worms don’t transmit directly from person to person. Instead, their eggs pass out of the body in feces and contaminate the soil in areas with poor sanitation. Nowadays, people in high-income countries rarely encounter parasitic worms.

Yet in these countries, diseases related to an overactive immune system are on the rise; more than 23.5 million Americans are now affected by autoimmune diseases.

It’s widely accepted that the composition of our gut microbial community is easily and commonly disrupted, contributing to many health problems. Perhaps, some scientists argue, the absence of intestinal worms is also a factor. Before the agricultural revolution, humans lived in less crowded conditions. This meant it was harder to pick up harmful numbers of helminths, Parker says. Our immune systems were, however, used to a small number of worms in their midst.

Over time, human and worm coevolved. Eventually, the thinking goes, our immune system came to rely on having helminths around to “train” it to develop properly. Without worms, the immune system is more likely to go rogue.

“They have been given a blanket label of parasites,” Parker says. Yet the same creature that acts as a parasite in high numbers may help us in small doses.

Not everyone is convinced. Helena Helmby, an immunologist at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, is skeptical that an increase in autoimmune and inflammatory diseases is related to missing worms. A disrupted microbial community is more plausible, she says. “Worms are not the only answer.” Another possibility is that worms are beneficial largely because they’re manipulating the microbiota.

What we do know is that helminths are adept at influencing the immune system. In order to ensure their own survival, these worms must dampen the immune response that would otherwise wipe them out. They do this in part by secreting molecules with anti-inflammatory properties.

That is where the promise of worm therapy lies.

An uneven record

Humans have turned leeches, maggots, and bacteria into medicinal tools. Why not worms?

Helminths are appealing because they don’t appear to suppress the immune system across the board—rather, they tune it. “The immune function gets more specific and targeted at the actual danger to us, and less inflammatory in general,” Parker says. “The immune system without helminths can be much like a police force that has only hand grenades. There’s a tremendous amount of force there but it’s not very specific and not targeted.”

Scientists and people who self-treat with worms have honed in on a few candidates. Several, including pig whipworm (Trichuris suis) and rat tapeworm (Hymenolepis diminuta) are adapted to other mammals and generally can’t survive to their adult stage in humans. Human hookworm (Necator americanus) is another popular choice. They can stick around for more than a year, making them cheaper for self-treaters. But they are also more likely to cause side effects (typically cramping or anemia). Very rarely, the worms that don’t usually colonize humans can make existing psychiatric issues worse, Parker says. Fortunately, it’s easy to get rid of worms with anthelmintic drugs.

So far, worms have shown promise in animal studies and small trials with humans. When scientists take the soup of proteins and other molecules secreted by worms and inject it into rodents, they can prevent all sorts of ailments like inflammatory bowel disease, asthma, rheumatoid arthritis, Loukas says.

And Parker and his colleagues have shown that when rat pups are born from a mother colonized with helminths, their brains are more protected against inflammation induced elsewhere. He believes that, accordingly, helminths may eventually help with anxiety disorders, migraine headaches, and depression. Scientists now suspect that inflammation plays a role in many of these conditions. He also suspects that helminths are more effective in preventing an overactive immune response from happening than turning off an ongoing reaction. So they would show more promise for treating seasonal allergies than those caused by irritants people are constantly exposed to, like dust.

The work of Joel Weinstock, then a gastroenterologist at the University of Iowa, launched much of the nascent field when he and his colleagues found that pig whipworm seemed to ease the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. In another trial, scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison saw pig whipworm apparently reduce the number of lesions on the nerve cells of people with multiple sclerosis. Another multiple sclerosis trial in the United Kingdom using hookworms has recently concluded.

In autoimmune diseases, there’s typically an overabundance of a type of T cells—a kind of white blood cell—that pump out inflammation-causing chemicals. When the gut in people with celiac disease encounters gluten, there’s a boost in the numbers of these cells. But when people with celiac disease had hookworms in their guts, these cells did not increase after they slowly reintroduced gluten. Instead, the numbers of a different “peacekeeping” T cell that calms inflammation rose. It appears that the worms prompt an increase in these soothing cells, which can travel around the body to quiet down the immune response, Loukas says. He’s now about two-thirds done enrolling people for a larger, 70-person clinical trial on celiac disease led by colleagues John Croese and Paul Giacomin.

However, “There’s a checkered history recently in terms of clinical trials,” he says. In 2013, two large clinical trials on irritable bowel disease using pig whipworm failed to show any benefit. One speculation about why these trials may not have worked is because the company changed the solution the eggs were stored in, perhaps in a way that made them ineffective, Parker says. Regardless of the reason, since this major setback pharmaceutical companies have been reluctant to get onboard with helminth therapy, although smaller trials have continued.


Helminths aren’t approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to combat any illness. It’s not legal to sell them in this country to treat a disease, and that is unlikely to change anytime soon.

Some people with debilitating autoimmune conditions are taking matters into their own hands. They travel to other countries where helminths are available and bring back a personal supply to the United States, or order from the black market online.

“Basically the whole thing is now stuck in this no man’s land where it continues to grow in the underground,” says Judy Chinitz, a co-founder of Biome Restoration, which provides the larvae of rat tapeworm in the United Kingdom.

Parker estimates that between 6,000 and 7,000 people worldwide use worms to manage the symptoms of their illnesses, including both adults and children. He and his colleagues have spent years surveying the self-treating community, the physicians supervising people who had decided to self-treat, and companies that sell the eggs or larvae. “We’ve gotten more than 10 percent of everybody on planet Earth who’s ever tried a helminth for therapy,” he says. Talking doctors has allowed them to build a picture that includes people who tried worm therapy and found it ineffective or unpleasant, as well as people who are pleased with their internal guests.

“We initially thought that people aren’t going to go for this,” Parker says. But, “If somebody’s sick [and] especially if somebody’s child is sick, they will try just about anything.” Many self-users feel that helminths have boosted their quality of life, although others detect no improvement. Journalist Moises Velasquez-Manoff tried hookworms to see if they might help his alopecia and hay fever. Ultimately, the worms did not pan out and the side effects were unpleasant.

Necator americanus chúng tôi

Velasquez-Manoff picked up his worms in Mexico, from Aglietti. There are a few other well-known providers that operate around the world; generally they strongly recommend that you involve a physician if you are determined to take helminths, or provide their own, Parker says.

However, helminth production is generally not regulated or inspected as a drug would be. People who self treat do run risks not incurred by those who sample worms through a clinical trial. And because ongoing treatment with helminths is so expensive, some unscrupulous providers offer cheap versions that may be produced in non-sterile conditions or come from unreliable sources.

In the United Kingdom, the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency allows Biome Restoration to produce their larvae as a non-pharmaceutical product. Recently, the European Union has updated its rules for what is considered a novel food. Chinitz and Detlev Goj, owner and CEO of Tanawisa, a Thailand-based provider of pig whipworm eggs, are interested in seeking approval to have their helminths classified under this category in Europe (in Thailand, they are considered a natural medicine).

Hookworm larvae are delivered through a patch on the skin, while the eggs or larvae of other species are ingested. The dose varies, depending on the species and illness. But it’s typical for people to take 25 or so hookworms at a time to eventually build up a colony of around 100, Parker says. Other species must be consumed every few weeks. For pig whipworm, this means swallowing thousands of eggs at a time. Goj, who has tried this himself, says that experience was “Nothing special. It was like drinking juice.”

Worm in a pill

Some researchers believe that a more promising avenue lies in the molecules helminths secrete.

“They are pathogens, I think people need to be realistic about that,” Helmby says. “We would be much better off not using live infection, but actually harnessing the product these parasites produce and then using them for anti-inflammatory treatments.”

Loukas and his colleagues feel similarly. “Evolution has taken care of drug design for us,” he says. As in his clinical trials, he is focusing on hookworms. He and his colleagues have identified the 100 most abundant proteins that the worms produce. They’ve selected a protein called AIP-2 that seems especially promising and protects against asthma in mice. It’s not clear yet how it exactly it works, although it does boost inflammation-calming T cells. He’s working with pharmaceutical companies to develop it as a treatment for inflammatory bowel disease and other ailments in humans.

Loukas views his trials with lives worms as evidence the worms can influence the immune system, rather than that they are the ideal vehicle for treatment. A minority of the volunteers Loukas has worked with did experience intense gut pain when the worms first arrived, although this typically disappears after 12 to 16 weeks. That said, the volunteers are offered a deworming drug after their trial, but most don’t take it. “In almost every scenario the patients have refused the drug and have kept their worms. They love them,” Loukas says.

Intestinal worms are not particularly charismatic to most people, though. “There’s still that ick factor,” Loukas says. And producing live worms is complicated. One must collect feces from volunteers, recover the eggs, raise them to the larval stage, and clean them up so they won’t transmit any germs to the person they infect. It’s not really possible to scale up this process to the point where you’d be able to treat millions of people, Loukas says.

Developing a pill or injectable from worm proteins will be a formidable challenge, however. “There’s so many molecules that are secreted by the helminth…and there’s a lot going on there that would be impossible to recapitulate with a single pharmaceutical,” Parker says. “You’d have to reinvent the whole worm basically.”

Worm proteins haven’t been tested in people yet; a clinical trial is probably two to three years away. Medications based on individual worm proteins, or combinations of a few different ones, probably won’t be on the market for more than 10 years.

Onwards and inward

To move forward and gain FDA approval, worm therapy will need large clinical trials, and it’s hard to raise funds for those without backing from pharmaceutical companies. Parker is afraid that worm therapy will languish for decades like fecal transplants, which were actually tested in 1958 but have only recently become popular to treat pernicious gut infections. “It has interest, but it’s also got baggage from these failed trials,” he says.

Still, there are small signs of progress. “One of the big roadblocks is having the parasites that the FDA will allow you to infect people with,” says John Hawdon, vice president of the American Society of Parasitologists and a researcher at the George Washington University. He and his colleagues are applying for permission to grow hookworm larvae to standards fit for testing in humans. Currently, there is no place in the United States where this is allowed; Hawdon anticipates a lengthy application process.

“As a long-term goal we may be the place to get the larvae to do the clinical trials to determine if this works or not,” he says. “It’s got a lot of promise, but we’re just not there yet, to say whether it works or not, and I don’t recommend people doing it on their own.”

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