- By Elizabeth Zimmermann
Starting from the beginning may lead to better outcomes for lupus
Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and pain throughout the body. Most common in women (9 of 10 diagnosed cases); it attacks both joints and organs – including the skin. Lupus is not curable, but symptoms can be managed with medications.
Researchers hope to learn more about lupus and identify ways to predict or prevent emergence, lessen symptoms, and one day perhaps find a cure. At Mayo Clinic, multidisciplinary teams have been formally investigating lupus for over 30 years, and have published more than 350 peer-reviewed research articles.
Now one of these teams is taking that research to the next level — by going back to the beginning. Recently the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention awarded a renewable grant to Mayo Clinic, with which Mayo's program joins an elite network of national lupus registries seeking better understanding of lupus in specific populations.
Mayo Clinic's program is led by Ali Duarte Garcia, M.D., a rheumatologist, and Cynthia Crowson, Ph.D., a biomedical and statistical scientist specializing in rheumatology. Together with a multidisciplinary group of researchers, they seek to expand existing knowledge of cutaneous lupus erythematosus (CLE) and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), the two most common types of lupus. They are doing this by identifying patients in earlier stages of the disease, and developing a picture of disease progression.
"Our objectives are to characterize the long-term natural history of adults with SLE and CLE and determine health care access and gaps those adults with lupus experience," says Dr. Duarte Garcia. "We further plan to document how opioid pain therapy is used in adults with SLE and assess disparities and other factors associated with lupus outcomes."
Read the rest of the article on Advancing the Science blog.
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