Discovery may enable an effective long-term Lupus treatment

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Published just this month (February 6, 2024), researchers at Monash University Australia have reported some very promising results related to their research into an effective long term treatment for Lupus.

Published in Nature Communications, the Monash University-led study found a way to reprogram the defective cells of lupus patients with protective molecules from healthy people.

Using human cells, the new treatment restores the protective side of the immune system that prevents autoimmunity, which is when the immune system attacks its own cells. The findings relate to the autoimmune disease lupus, a debilitating disease with no cure and limited treatments.

According to Co-senior author Associate Professor Joshua Ooi:
“We showed the effectiveness of this approach using human lupus patient cells, both in the test tube and in an experimental model of lupus kidney inflammation”.

“We were able to completely arrest the development of lupus kidney disease, without the use of the usual non-specific and harmful immunosuppressant drugs. It’s like a reset of the abnormal immune system back to a healthy state – kind of like a major software upgrade. That it uses the patient’s own cells is a very special part of this.”

The way that Co-first author Peter Eggenhuizen sees it:
“This breakthrough offers huge hope not only in lupus but across the spectrum of autoimmune diseases. There is a huge range of autoimmune diseases that could be targeted with this approach.”

What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic (long-term) disease that can cause inflammation and pain in any part of your body. It’s an autoimmune disease, which means that your immune system — the body system that usually fights infections — attacks healthy tissue instead.

Anyone can develop lupus. But certain people are at higher risk for lupus, including:

Women ages 15 to 44.
Certain racial or ethnic groups — including people who are African American, Asian American, Hispanic/Latino, Native American, or Pacific Islander.
People who have a family member with lupus or another autoimmune disease.

What causes Lupus?

No one knows what causes lupus — but lupus and other autoimmune diseases do run in families. Experts also think it may develop in response to certain hormones (like estrogen) or environmental triggers. An environmental trigger is something outside the body that can bring on symptoms of lupus — or make them worse.

There is no one first sign or symptom of lupus. The early signs and symptoms of lupus are generally the same as the symptoms of lupus, including extreme fatigue, joint pain, or a butterfly rash. However, the early signs vary widely from person to person.

Lupus is not contagious — you can’t “catch” lupus or give it to someone else.

You can read about this developing news below:

https://www.monash.edu/medicine/news/latest/2024-articles/world-first-discovery-may-enable-an-effective-long-term-lupus-treatment

Read the study: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-024-45056-x

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