Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2003 – Lupus Gene Found
The Arthritis Foundation has announced the Top 10 Arthritis Research Advances of 2003
including # 4, Lupus gene patterns activated by interferon identified in adults and children
. This important discovery can lead to new treatments and it indicates genetic testing may be just what the doctor ordered, to improve diagnosis, predict disease severity and create treatments that really work against this disease.
This is an important discovery for a couple of reasons, just to start – first, isn’t it nice somebody noticed? We’re no longer orphans, folks. For centuries, lupus was an overlooked orphan disease which got little attention, less respect or understanding and nearly no research funding but things have begun to change.
Lupus is now recognized as the key to solving the autoimmune illness puzzle. Deciphering the genetic code in lupus could lead to solving the whole host of autoimmune diseases. Researchers say even cancers might eventually be cured because of knowledge gained from studying lupus.
So, in the second place, our once neglected illness is getting more respect and, most important, lupus research is finally receiving more substantial funding, which can help many more folks than ourselves. Think like a humanitarian - be happy.
Learning to live with lupus is being slowly supplanted by learning to live beyond lupus and, if you’ve read my lupie story, you know that makes me very glad. Maybe we’re not quite ready to put on our boogie shoes just yet – gotta wait for the swelling to go down – but, they’re beginning to play our song.
Rheumatoid Arthritis may be identified and treated before physical damage can twist us into tightly knotted pretzels and give us premature cardiovascular disease. The hardening skin and organ effects of Scleroderma could even be softened.
With more research and better treatments, children may enjoy their youth without the devastating and debilitating effects of arthritis. This will all take time, money and laboratory learning but it is worth celebrating and, whattya know, there’s more, when we give this data a good read.