The Environmental Determinants of Lupus Flares (EDOLF)

Marline Squance
The environmental Determinant of Lupus Flares study (EDOLF) investigated the relationships between common environmental agents found indoors and self reported symptom flare days (SRF) in 101 Australian female lupus patients as compared to 41 age matched healthy controls. The study was retrospective and employed mixed methods examining differences in lifestyle behaviours and agent exposure with personal product use.

Medications and Lupus

By Mr Patrick Keefe, Pharmacist
Mr Patrick Keefe spoke about medications and the importance of reading the information which comes with medication. He listed several of the medications for Lupus patients and what to expect if there are side ef- fects . “It is important that you understand the medications you are taking and the risks, benefits and restrictions associated with them” Mr Keefe stressed. Mr Keefe is the LGH pharmacist.

 

Common tests in autoimmunity: The antinuclear antibody (ANA) test

By Adrian Lee
Introduction
One of the most commonly ordered tests when a doctor suspects an ongoing autoimmune process is the antinuclear antibody (ANA) test. This is a test on the serum of blood (the non-cellular component without clotting factors) that takes a couple of days to perform. The ANA test examines for the presence of ‘self’ antibodies (immune system proteins which bind other proteins to initiate an immune response) against nuclear components of human cells. Because there are many proteins in the nucleus, the ANA test is actually looking at a hetrerogeneous group of antibodies.

Exercise for the Treatment of Lupus

By Andrew Williams and Adam Knapek
Introduction
Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease which can affect almost every organ system within the body. SLE develops when there is a malfunction in the production of antibodies, which lack the ability to recognise ‘self’. As a result the antibodies begin to attack healthy cells within the body, resulting in inflammation, tissue damage and loss of function (Miah, Hague et al. 2008). SLE affects 1 in 700 people, with a higher prevalence of the condition among women than men (Jimenez, Cervera et al. 2003).

Connective Tissue Disease and Overlap Syndromes

By Prof Graham Hughes, Consultant Rheumatologist, London Lupus Centre,
London Bridge Hospital

Half a century ago, the name ‘connective tissue diseases’ was coined to cover a group of conditions distinct from each other, but with a number of features in common. They include lupus, myositis, Sjogren’s Syndrome, scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease and vasculitis. In 1983, another related condition the anti-phospholipid syndrome (Hughes syndrome) was added.

Immune Cell Death Safeguards Against Autoimmune Disease.

By Dr Daniel Gray, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute have discovered that a pair of molecules work together to kill so-called ‘self-reactive’ immune cells that are programmed to attack the body’s own organs. The finding is helping to explain how autoimmune diseases develop.
Dr Daniel Gray and colleagues from the institute’s Molecular Genetics of Cancer division and the University of Ballarat discovered that the absence of two
related proteins, called Puma and Bim, led to self-reactive immune cells accumulating and attacking many different body organs, causing illness. The research is published online today in the journal Immunity.

Closer to Understand Autoimmune Diseases

Science Daily (March 5th 2012)

University of Alberta researcher Troy Baldwin is a step closer to understanding why the body’s immune cells, called Tcells, sometimes attack perfectly healthy cells causing autoimmune diseases like diabetes.
Baldwin, a researcher in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, and graduate Alex Suen looked at a specific molecule, known as BIM, which is vital in regulating T-Cell death. He explained that when BIM was removed from auto-reactive T-Cells, rather than being killed off and eliminated from the blood, the T-Cells actually survived and were rendered Inactive.

Successful Pregnancy Outcomes for Most Women

Adapted media release - Nov 7 2011

Promising research led by investigators at Hospital for Special Surgery may offer hope for women with Lupus who once thought that pregnancy was too risky.

Results from the Multicenter National Institutes of health (NIH) funded PROMISSE initiative, being presented Monday, Nov. 7 and then during a press conference on Tuesday, Nov 8, during the American Rheumatology’s 2011 Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, show that most women with stable lupus can have successful pregnancies.

She has Sjögren’s

Positive Actions and Attitudes that can be Supportive to You Both

by Fred Fernandez, Member SSF Board of Directors
For everyone who is the spouse of a Sjögren’s syndrome patient, you completely understand that you both have an important role in managing the disease. Few things impact the life and activities of a marriage partnership like the unplanned complications of one of you being diagnosed with an incurable autoimmune disease. Just as with so many things in life, actions and attitudes are critical to outcomes and being in control. With Sjögren’s, 90% of the time it is she who has been diagnosed, but make no mistake about it, you both are now faced with learning to deal with the manifestations and what you can do together to keep your life and activities within the acceptable range of your goals as a couple. Each Sjögren’s patient is unique in how he or she may be impacted; however, there are many proven actions which have been shown to be immensely helpful in managing life towards normalcy, what ever that is!

The Basis of Autoimmunity


Autoimmune diseases are a group of complex, heterogeneous diseases where the body’s immune system reacts inappropriately to self tissue. In effect, autoimmunity is a form of immune system hypersensitivity. Autoimmune diseases can be broadly classed into organ-specific (e.g., Hashimoto’s thyroiditis) and system-wide (e.g., Sjögren’s syndrome) diseases; however, this is a simple classification system and much overlap exists.