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National Self Help & Support Groups Awareness Day

From the left: Kirsty and Malcolm

On the 8th September 2011,

Lupus Australia Qld Inc joined with more than 80 Self Help and Support Groups to promote, distribute lupus information and meet with each other and the general public at Reddacliff Place.

It was a very successful day and Kirsty is one of our happy customers wearing another Henny Hat creation

 

Study of Umbilical Cord Blood-Derived Stem Cells for Lupus Therapy

Human umbilical cord blood-derived mensenchymal stem cells (uMSCs) have been found to offer benefits for treating lupus nephritis (LN) when transplanted into mouse models of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). SLE is an autoimmune disease with “myriad immune system aberrations” characterised by diverse clinical conditions, including LN, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality for patients with SLE. The beneficial results were reported in a study by Taiwanese researchers published in the current issue of Cell Transplantation (20:2).

According to corresponding author Dr. Oscar K. Lee of the National Yang-Ming University School of Medicine, MSCs have been shown to possess immune-modulatory capabilities and can alleviate immune responses by inhibiting inflammation as well as the function of mature and immature immune system T cells. Seeking to explore the therapeutic effects of uMSCs in treating LN, their study systemic immune diseases closely resembling SLE in humans.

We found that uMSC transplantation markedly delayed the deterioration of renal function, reduced certain antibody levels, alleviated changes in renal pathology and the development of proteinuria – the presence of excess protein serum in the urine and a sign of renal damage,” said Dr. Lee.

The positive difference in survival rate for mice treated at two months of age compared with mice treated at six months of age, led the researchers to conclude that early uMSC transplantation may be most efficacious. The researchers also deduced that their findings favored the use of allogenic (other-donated) rather than autologous (self-donated) MSCs for SLE treatment, which would make sense with an autoimmune disorder.

The therapeutic effects demonstrated in this pre-clinical study support further exploration of the possibility of using uMSCs from mismatched donors in LN treatment,” concluded Dr. Lee.

The ability of uMSCs to reduce inflammation means that they are likely to be of use in the treatment of autoimmune disorders and this study supports that reasoning and, in this case, also advocates the use of non-self cells,” said Dr. David Eve, associate editor of Cell Transplantation and an instructor at the University of South Florida Centre of Excellence for Aging and Brain Repair.

Retrieved April 13, 2011 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

 

 

New Finding Suggest Novel Avenues to Explore Tast Loss in Autoimmune Diseases

Reduced taste sensitivity is a common symptom of autoimmune diseases such as Sjogren's syndrome and lupus, and it can have a negative impact on a person's nutrition. Taste sensitivity waxes and wanes along with other disease symptoms, but the mechanism by which inflammation could contribute to the loss of taste remains largely unknown. NIDCD-funded researcher Hong Wang, Ph.D., and colleagues at the Monell Chemical Senses Center, in Philadelphia, have used a mouse strain (MRL/Ipr) that models lupus in humans to explore the effects of chronic inflammation on taste tissues. The investigators noted increased levels of inflammation-promoting immune system cells in the tongue tissue of MRL/Ipr mice in association with lower expression levels of markers for Type II taste cells. (Type II taste cells reside within the taste buds and are responsive to sweet, bitter, and umami, or savory, flavors.) Taste buds appeared smaller in the MRL/Ipr mice than in the control mice. In tasting tests, the MRL/Ipr mice showed decreased responsiveness to bitter, sweet, and umami flavors, but responded normally to salty and sour flavors. The research provides new evidence linking autoimmune disease and chronic inflammation to selective changes in the structure and function of taste tissues in the tongue. These findings offer opportunities for further explorations that have the potential to improve nutrition in people with chronic autoimmune disorders.

 

Retrieved April 11, 2011 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com

 

 

Why are new lupus drugs needed?

What should lupus patients and their families know about Benlysta? WebMD consulted Eric L. Gredinger, MD, chief of rheumatism and immunology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, FDA briefing documents, and the FDA approval announcement.

 

Officially know as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), lupus ia an autoimmune disease. It's relatively common, affecting about one in 1,000 people. But some people with lupus have such mild disease they may never know they have it.

Others have relatively mild disease that can be controlled with current treatments. These include over-the-counter NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, corticosteroids such as prednisone, antimalaria drugs such as hydroxychloroquine, powerful immunosuppressants, and cancer chemotherapies. (Lupus is not caused by malaria and is not a cancer, but malarial drugs and chemotherapies suppress various manifestations of lupus).

Still other patients experience frequent lupus flare-ups and suffer devastating side effects from current treatments. And finally, there are patients with life-threatening lupus, at risk of major organ failure.

In all those cases, the current drugs while not perfect provide a good series of choices,” Greidinger says.

Patients with mild disease may not need treatment, or may be able to keep their symptoms under control with relatively safe antimalaria drugs.

Patients with the most severe disease – including lupus affecting the kidneys or brain – can benefit from more aggressive treatment.

But patients in the middle category are more difficult to treat, Greidinger says. They may not get relief from the safest lupus treatments. But stronger treatments, continued over time, may cause side effects that are worse than a patient's symptoms.

 

 

 

 

US approves Lupus drug

The first new treatment for lupus in half a century has won US approval, a milestone for patients with the disabling disease and a potential blockbuster for tiny biotech company Human Genome Sciences.

Health officials cleared Benlysta for certain patients with active lupus who are receiving standard therapy. The disease causes the immune system to attack joints and organs and has proved tough to study and treat. Human Genome will split profits from the drug with GlaxoSmithKline.

The Food and Drug Administration says black patients "did not appear to respond to treatment" in clinical trials. The company will run another study to further examine safety and effectiveness in black patients to address that concern, the agency said. Benlysta's annual global sales may top $3 billion in 2015, according to Thomson Reuters consensus forecasts.

Adapted from ABC News

 


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Updates

All interested people most welcome to join Lupus Australia at 2pm at the Community Hall 60 Stamford Road Indooroopilly to both listen and bring along your questions on nutrition to Pamela Holdsworth.

Please book on 3878 9553 or 0411 263 733 or lupusq@lupus.com.au

Lupus Booklet


A nineteen page booklet filled with stories and poems written by people who have lupus

Including a foreword written by Dr Carola G Vinuesa and Dr Matthew Cook, research scientists who are looking at the causes of lupus.

Contact us if you are interested in purchasing this interesting little book


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