LUPUS RESEARCH- Genetic Investigations may Revolutionize Treatments

LUPUS RESEARCH- Genetic Investigations may Revolutionize Treatments

There an estimated 1.5 million Americans with lupus. 90% of lupus patients are women with African Americans at a higher risk for developing the condition. Diagnosis usually occurs between the late teenage years and early forties. With no known cure, lupus is a devastating life-threatening disease that can cause organ damage, stroke, and other serious events. Even in less severe cases, symptoms like chronic fatigue can greatly impact one’s daily life.

Maria Gutierrez-Arcelus (PhD) – Splicing Disruption in Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

A recipe gone wrong

Many of the processes occurring in our cells are controlled by proteins. Our body makes these proteins using a recipe copied from genes in our DNA. Dr Gutierrez-Arcelus believes that changes our bodies make to these recipes, once they have been already been copied, could explain why people with the same disease, such as Lupus, controlled by the same genes, don’t always have the exact same symptoms. Her research will focus on how genes involved in Lupus alter these recipes. By determining how these recipes are changed it could be possible to find a way of ensuring the original recipe is used as a means of potential treatment.

 

Dr. Sarah Baxter – Characterize the role of AIM2 in the autoimmune disease Systemic Lupus

Mapping genes associated with lupus

Dr Sarah Baxter believes that children who develop lupus have genetic immune diseases. She thinks that if she can identify these diseases, she can prevent the damage lupus causes. Last year, Dr Baxter looked at children with lupus and their parents and found a gene that might be causing the disease. Now she wants to find out how that gene works. This is all part of an impressive overall goal. Dr Baxter wants to create a genetic map of lupus and use it to find new ways to detect and treat lupus in patients of all ages.

 

 

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation
arthritisresearch@curearthritis.org

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. Writing articles about the patients affected and the science being done to find a cure shows why we need to come together to #CureArthritis!

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