Lupus Research Institute - Making strides!

Remember the webinar I did back in January, when I collaborated with The S.L.E. Lupus Foundation in NYC? They were also the Pillbag "Charity of the Month" for December 2012 and January 2013. As a coalition member of the Lupus Research Institute (LRI), they opted to send the donations, 5 % of every Pillbag sold during those winter months, to the LRI. I wanted you to see how your charitable contributions can really make a difference - so here's an update on the breakthroughs the scientists at LRI are making in lupus research:  

“This Lupus Awareness Month, we spotlight our scientists’ success because it is their talent, creativity and insight that is turning patients’ hope into reality,” said Margaret Dowd, President and CEO.  “This is a time to recognize and celebrate the power of scientific innovation as the clear path to transforming the outcomes for lupus and autoimmune disease.”

Predicting flare. Two new lab tests to predict lupus flare. By detecting the earliest signs of an upsurge in disease activity the tests are designed to improve disease management and accelerate the testing of new drugs in clinical trials. Researchers: Mary K. Crow, MD and Emily Baechler Gillespie, PhD

Predicting heart risk. For the first time clinical research showed that a blood test for homocysteine identifies lupus patients most at risk for cardiovascular disease. Doctors now use the test to guide preventative treatment and reduce the chance of life-threatening cardiac events. Researcher:Joan Von Feldt, MD

Discovering how lupus attacks the brain. Researchers uncovered how the lupus immune system attacks the central nervous system (CNS), leading to current work on a new targeted treatment for neurological and psychological complications of lupus. Researcher: Betty Diamond, MD

Discovering how lupus harms the heart.  A chemically altered form of ‘good’ cholesterol was found to contribute to circulatory system damage in lupus. This discovery led to new ways to identify and treat patients at risk of heart disease. Researcher: Bevra Hahn, MD

Transforming kidney diagnosis. Researchers devised new non-invasive tests to diagnose and guide treatment of lupus kidney disease as alternatives to surgical kidney biopsies. Researchers: Chandra Mohan, MD, PhD;Chaim Putterman, MD; Joshua Thurman, MD

Discovering new genes. Genetic breakthroughs uncovered new culprits in lupus – the Toll-like receptors. Drugs that inhibit these proteins are soon to be tested in lupus patients. Researchers: Silvia Bolland, PhD and Ian R. Rifkin, MD, PhD

Smarter drug delivery. Using innovative nanotechnology to deliver drug doses directly to disease-causing cells promises to make existing lupus treatments safer and more effective. Researcher: Tarek Fahmy, PhD

Three cheers for the dedicated men and women doing their best to find a better way to treat, manage and diagnose lupus. Here's hoping for even more headway in the coming year!


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