Lupus Foundation of America Research update

The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) joined more than 11,000 rheumatologists and allied health professionals at the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) 2009 Annual Scientific Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in mid-October. The program included more than 260 abstracts, plenary or special session presentations specifically about lupus.

Representatives of the LFA attended the meeting to report on new developments in basic, clinical, translational, and epidemiological research on lupus. More than 20 key lupus researchers and scientists sat down with LFA officials to talk about the research data they presented. Those on-camera interviews, and a summary of selected research abstracts, are now available to view.

Treatment for lupus
At present, some thirty clinical studies of potential new treatments for lupus are underway. In this installment of the Lupus Research Update, Julie Venners highlights data from clinical trials of Benlysta, CellCept, and Rituxan. Hope is on the horizon for a better quality of life for people with lupus, thanks to the dedicated efforts of medical researchers, clinicians, and industry leaders who are working tirelessly to develop a full arsenal of treatments for lupus.

Complications of lupus
As many as 40 percent of all people with lupus, and as many as two-thirds of all children with the disease, will develop kidney complications. And heart disease is now a leading cause of death among people with lupus. In this installment, Julie Venners highlights several significant studies and sessions on kidney and heart manifestations of lupus presented during the ACR annual scientific meeting

Management of lupus
Understanding what causes lupus and why certain people are more likely to develop the disease may provide insight on new ways to manage or prevent lupus. Researchers also are looking for ways to improve the quality of life for people living with lupus. In this program, Julie Venners highlights data from six presentations: flu vaccinations in people with lupus, antiphospholipid syndrome, serologically active clinically quiescent periods in lupus (SACQ), long-term effects of treatment, and updates to instruments used to diagnose and monitor lupus.

Causes and progression of lupus
Scientists have been trying to unlock the mysteries surrounding the causes of lupus. A number of studies presented during the 2009 American College of Rheumatology Annual Scientific Meeting examined the possible underlying causes of lupus and its progression. In this installment, Julie Venners showcases the work of four investigators who shared the observations and conclusions of their lupus research studies.

Pregnancy and lupus
Lupus primarily affects young women of childbearing age. Research on the impact of lupus on fetuses, newborns and mothers is important to people living with lupus. At one time, women with lupus were advised not to become pregnant. However, that advice is evolving and many women with lupus have successful pregnancies. In this final segment, Julie Venners presents five studies on lupus-related pregnancy complications.

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About Carole

I am a fun loving woman of a certain age who believes that living with lupus is more than just about symptoms, medications and treatment. Laughter and a positive mental attitude are the essential nutrients in my daily diet and I just want to share a word or two to contribute to yours. And I am a certified Laughter Leader!

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