Good news on the lupus research front!
On Tuesday, the National Institutes of Health, 10 large drug companies and seven nonprofit organizations announced an unconventional partnership intended to speed up development of drugs to treat Alzheimer’s disease, Type 2 diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and, drum roll please, lupus.
You can read the entire article here, but all I needed to here was that out of all of the diseases is the whole wide world, this group decided that lupus was one of the four diseases that deserves attention first. If that isn't a move in the right direction - I don't know what is!
Of course, reading the article brings to light the complexity of trying to target a drug to treat a disease like lupus, as illustrated by Dr. Michael Lockshin, co-director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. I had the honor of speaking at an event at HSS a couple of years ago, and if there's ever a place dedicated to figuring out how best to treat and manage lupus, it's the folks at HSS.
Dr. Lockshin says, "The key to lupus may hinge in part on answering three questions: Why is the ratio of female patients to male patients nine to one? Why is the ratio of black patients to white patients three to one? And why does the disease strike women primarily between the ages of 15 and 35?"
Such characteristics may imply that there is “an exposure cause,” Dr. Lockshin said.
“I don’t deny that you might be able to control some aspects of the disease” by targeting molecular markers, Dr. Lockshin said. “But to eradicate it completely, you will need to go into other fields.”
It IS curious...and worth exploring. Here's hoping every research dollar available goes to uncovering the most effective lupus treatment ever!