Contrary to popular belief about the weakening of the immune system in elderly and old age, canadian researchers argue that, at least, against viruses the body of the elderly are protected not worse, than young men.
In the process of evolution the human body has acquired intricate but effective system of protection against specific hazards, which include both external (bacteria, viruses, parasites) and internal (own cells subjected to dangerous mutations). The main role in such protection is reserved T-cells or T-lymphocytes.
Until recently it was believed that the number of T cells decreases with age, in addition, reduced their activity in the recognition and destruction of “enemies”, but scientists from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario (McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario) and colleagues from the University of Toronto (University of Toronto) refute this stereotype.
The authors of the study observed a few thousand people of different age groups: under 40, ages 41 to 59 years and above 60 years. All study participants were patients of University clinics, who sought medical assistance in connection with different viral diseases, including such dangerous as West Nile fever.
All the subjects were carried out immunological study of blood.
Canadian researchers found that the number of T-lymphocytes in the blood of participants in the experiment were almost the same regardless of age. Age had no effect and the degree of activity of these cells.
“Despite the aging process, immune system as a whole remains capable not only to support the immune system against pathogens, acquired at a young age, but also to effectively protect the body against new viruses,” emphasizes co-author of this study Professor Jonathan Bramson (Jonathan Bramson).