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[IPp] Statement on New England Journal of Medicine Study on Lupus and Autoantibodies as an Early Disease Marker

Hope for our future generations?

 Statement on New England Journal of Medicine Study on Lupus and Autoantibodies
as an Early Disease Marker
Thu Oct 16, 4:18 PM ET

To: National Desk 

 Contact: Stephanie Tonnesen, 586-776-3900 for the American Autoimmune Related
Diseases Association

 DETROIT, Oct. 16 /U.S. Newswire/ -- A new study published in today's New
England Journal of Medicine (news - web sites) offers a glimmer of hope to the
millions of Americans who suffer from systemic lupus erythematosus (lupus), as
well as many other autoimmune diseases.

 The study conducted by scientists from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation
and University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center found that in patients
suffering from lupus, autoantibodies (proteins that the body mistakenly
unleashes against its own tissue) are typically present years before patients
are diagnosed with the disease. Ultimately, the study's findings may help
identify what causes lupus and lead to the development of a way to prevent the
chronic autoimmune disease.

 "This groundbreaking research will have broad implications for the medical
community when it comes to identifying and tracking patients who are at risk for
developing lupus and many of the other autoimmune diseases," said Dr. Noel Rose,
chair of the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association Scientific
Advisory Board and professor of Pathology, Molecular Microbiology and
Immunology, The Johns Hopkins University. "And, more importantly for patients,
this could mean that diagnosis is made earlier on, before major damage to the
body occurs."

 There are more than 80 and another 40 suspected autoimmune diseases. They all
share the same underlying cause -- autoimmunity, the process by which the body's
immune system turns on itself, attacking healthy organs, tissues and cells.
Approximately 50 million Americans suffer from one or more autoimmune diseases.
Of those, nearly 75 percent -- or roughly 30 million -- are women. Autoimmune
diseases include lupus, multiple sclerosis, juvenile diabetes, rheumatoid
arthritis, scleroderma, Sjogren's disease and Graves' disease.

 While many autoimmune diseases can be treated and controlled if detected in the
early stages, patients often have symptoms for several years before a correct
diagnosis is made. This delay in treatment can cause severe damage to major
organs and result in permanent disability. In fact, the major cause of death in
autoimmune diseases is lack of a prompt, correct diagnosis or misdiagnosis.

 American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association is the nation's only
organization dedicated to bringing a national focus to autoimmunity as a disease
category and supporting a collaborative research in order to find better
treatments and a cure for all autoimmune diseases. For more information, please
visit http://www.aarda.org.


Rachel - email @ redacted

 "If you're quiet, you're not living. You've got to be noisy, colorful and
lively" - Mel Brooks

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