Cytokines are natural mediators that regulate immune responses and communication between cells. The way they interact with the body and each other is extremely complex. A cytokine storm occurs when an extreme amount of mediators act unchecked in the body, amplifying the immune response to critical levels and causing significant damage to the body.
The body tightly controls the normal cytokine reaction. In a healthy person, cytokine levels are undetectable, but when that person gets sick, cytokines can increase a much as 1,000-fold. When they behave normally, elevated cytokines in the blood are biomarkers that help medical professionals understand how some diseases progress and how a person responds to treatment. A cytokine storm is an extreme and abnormal reaction.
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