Anti-Inflammatory Therapy in Chronic Disease: Challenges and Opportunities
A number of widespread and devastating chronic diseases, including atherosclerosis, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease, have a pathophysiologically important inflammatory component. In these diseases, the precise identity of the inflammatory stimulus is often unknown and, if known, is difficult to remove. Thus, there is interest in therapeutically targeting the inflammatory response. Although there has been success with anti-inflammatory therapy in chronic diseases triggered by primary inflammation dysregulation or autoimmunity, there are considerable limitations. In particular, the inflammatory response is critical for survival. As a result, redundancy, compensatory pathways, and necessity narrow the risk:benefit ratio of anti-inflammatory drugs. However, new advances in understanding inflammatory signaling and its links to resolution pathways, together with new drug development, offer promise in this area of translational biomedical research.