Survey Finds Autoimmune Diseases Are Misunderstood, Common and Underfunded

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Virginia Ladd, CEO  

Virginia Ladd, CEO

Virginia Ladd, CEO  

American Autoimmune Related Disease Association (AARDA)

MedicalResearch.com: Would you briefly explain what is meant by autoimmune disorders?

Response: Autoimmune disease is a broad category of related diseases which share both genetic and mechanistic properties.  They occur when the person’s immune system attacks the body’s own cell, and tissue. The immune system goes awry and mistakenly attacks the tissues and organs it was designed to protect. Normally the immune system protects the It does this by body by responding to invading microorganisms, such as bacteria, and viruses. Producing antibodies which are special proteins that recognize and destroy the invaders. Autoimmune diseases occur when autoantibodies attack the body’s own cells, tissue and organs. Continue reading

Depression May Increase Risk of Developing an Autoimmune Disease

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Roberts

Andrea L. Roberts, MPH, PhD
Research Associate, Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: There is some evidence that depression may increase risk of autoimmune diseases. For example, among people with autoimmune diseases, more people have depression than in the general population. Also, people who have autoimmune diseases who also have depression have more severe disease symptoms.

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Lupus: Phase 2 Trial of Baricitinib Improved Signs and Symptoms

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA In affiliation with Attune Health  Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

Dr. Wallace

Daniel J. Wallace M.D., FACP, MACR
Associate Director, Rheumatology Fellowship Program
Board of Governors, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Professor of Medicine, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
David Geffen School of Medicine Center at UCLA
In affiliation with Attune Health
Beverly Hills, Ca 90211

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

 

Response: This is the first positive study of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) using baricitinib,  a small oral molecule that blocks the JAK system.

The human kinome consists of 500 genes and helps regulate cell surface receptor interaction. While agents that inhibit certain pathways are approved for rheumatoid arthritis and certain malignancies, this is the first study of its kind in SLE.

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Mono Virus Linked To Some Cases of Lupus

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

John B. Harley, MD, PhD Professor and Director David Glass Endowed Chair Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE) Department of Pediatrics University of Cincinnati Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

Dr. Harley

John B. Harley, MD, PhD
Professor and Director
David Glass Endowed Chair
Center for Autoimmune Genomics and Etiology (CAGE)
Department of Pediatrics
University of Cincinnati
Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center
Cincinnati, Ohio 45229

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Response: Previous work has shown that Epstein-Barr virus infection is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and studies of the origins of the autoimmune response have also suggested that the autoimmunity of this disease may originate with the immune response against this virus. In the meantime, many investigators have been studying the genetics of lupus over the past 25 years. They have found about 100 convincing genes that alter the risk of developing lupus.

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Study Finds Lupus Doubles Risk of Dementia

MedicalResearch.comcom Interview with:
Hui-Wen Lin MD, PHD
Department of Mathematics, Soochow University
Evidence-Based Medicine Center, Wan Fang Hospital, Taipei Medical University
Taipei, Taiwan

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?

Dr. Hui-Wen Lin: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disorder that affects multiple organ systems and it predominantly affects women aged 20 to 40 years, and clinical symptoms caused by autoantibody deposition that triggers subsequent inflammatory reactions vary between individuals. There were 30~80% of SLE patients present neurological symptoms, and it is referred to as neuropsychiatric SLE (NPSLE). However there is no research about risk of dementia for SLE patients. Therefore we investigated this issue by analyzing the National Health Insurance Research Database in Taiwan.

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Biomarkers Can Help Determine Lupus Patients At Risk During Pregnancy

Jane E. Salmon, MD Division of Rheumatology Hospital for Special Surgery, and Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Jane E. Salmon, MD
Division of Rheumatology
Hospital for Special Surgery, and
Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY 

Medical Research: Background on lupus and antiphospholipid antibodies – what are they?
Dr. Salmon: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a multi-system autoimmune disease that predominantly affects women and presents during their childbearing years. In SLE, the immune system which normally protects one from infection, turns reacts against the self and can cause damage of multiple organs.

Antiphospholipid antibodies (APL) occur in some people with SLE and some without SLE. They are autoantibodies that can damage the placenta and cause arterial and venous thromboses. Patients with APL can have fetal deaths, miscarriages, preeclampsia and/or growth restricted babies.

Pregnancy in patients with SLE, particularly those with antiphospholipid antibodies (APL), and in patients with APL alone, is associated with an increased risk for maternal and fetal morbidity due to preeclampsia (PE) and insufficient placental support of the developing fetus. PE and placental insufficiency are, in turn, associated with adverse pregnancy outcomes (APOs), including maternal complications of PE, intrauterine fetal death, and fetal growth restriction, as well as indicated preterm delivery. Given that APOs affect over one fifth of pregnancies in SLE and/or APL, the ability to identify patients early in pregnancy who are destined for poor outcomes would significantly impact care of this high risk population.

Medical Research: Two bullets about your PROMISSE study:

Dr. Salmon: The PROMISSE Study (Predictors of pRegnancy Outcome: bioMarker In antiphospholipid antibody Syndrome and Systemic lupus Erythematosus). PROMISSE is the largest multi-center, multi-ethnic and multi-racial study to prospectively assess the frequency of APO, clinical, laboratory and biomarker variables that predict APO, in women with SLE and/or APL with inactive or mild/ moderate activity at conception.

Pregnant patients with SLE and/or APL were enrolled at <12 weeks gestation into PROMISSE between September 2003 and August 2013 at 7 sites (n=497) along with matched healthy controls (n=207) and followed every month of pregnancy. 

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Family History of Lupus Is Strong Risk Factor For Lupus and Other Autoimmune Diseases

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Dr. Changfu Kuo MD PhD

Division of Rheumatology, Orthopaedics, and Dermatology
School of Medicine, University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England
Division of Rheumatology, Allergy, and Immunology
Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Taoyuan, Taiwan

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Kuo: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a prototype of autoimmune disease with features like autoantibody production and multiple target organ damage. SLE can affect any part of the body and the course of the disease is highly diverse and unpredictable. SLE can occur at any age and affect both females and males with a sex ratio of 9 to 1.

Familial predisposition has been recognised as a risk factor previously and heritability of SLE has been estimated to be 66%. However, previous reports are often based on less robust sampling strategies and case ascertainment which generally depend on hospital records, self-reported diagnosis and disease registries, therefore limiting generalisability. The previous estimates of heritability are overestimated, due to a lack of consideration of shared environmental contribution.

This study utilised a unique health insurance database that provides information on the whole population of Taiwan and permits determination of spouse and first-degree relatives. Over 23 million people were included in this study. Furthermore, through inclusion of SLE status of the spouse in our analyses the study is also able to examine how much of familial clustering results from genetic versus shared environmental factors. Overall the familial relative risk is 16.92. The genetic contribution to SLE susceptibility is estimated to be 44%. In addition to SLE, other autoimmune diseases are also more prevalent in individuals with a family history of SLE.

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Minority Patients With Lupus Kidney Disease May Have Suboptimal Care

Laura Plantinga, PhD Assistant Professor Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Medicine Emory University School of Medicine Atlanta, GA 30322MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Laura Plantinga, PhD Assistant Professor

Division of Renal Medicine, Department of Medicine
Emory University School of Medicine
Atlanta, GA 30322

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Plantinga: Quality of care for end-stage renal disease (ESRD), which is treated with dialysis or kidney transplantation, is a high priority for the U.S. healthcare system, given universal coverage of these services. However, quality of ESRD care remains relatively unexplored in lupus patients, who have multiple providers and may have greater access to care. We found that, overall, nearly three-quarters of U.S. ESRD patients with lupus had pre-ESRD nephrology care and about 20% of lupus patients on dialysis were waitlisted for kidney transplant per year; however, fewer than one-quarter of those who started on dialysis had a permanent vascular access in place, which is associated with better outcomes than a temporary catheter. Furthermore, patients who were black or Hispanic were nearly a third less likely to have pre-ESRD care and were also less likely to be placed on the kidney transplant waitlist in the first year of dialysis than white patients. Having Medicaid or no insurance at the start of ESRD were both associated with lower likelihood of quality ESRD care by all measures, despite universal Medicare coverage after the start of ESRD. While there was geographic variation in quality of ESRD care, patterns were not consistent across quality measures.

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Black Patients With Lupus Nephritis Have Greater Cardiovascular Mortality

Dr Gomez-Puerta MD, PhD, MPH Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy; Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA Medical Research Interview
Dr Gomez-Puerta MD, PhD, MPH
Division of Rheumatology, Immunology, and Allergy; Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA

MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Gomez-Puerta: Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disease of unknown etiology which can cause multiorgan system damage and which disproportionately affects women and non- Caucasian minorities. Up to 60% of SLE patients develop renal disease, lupus nephritis (LN), and of these, approximately one fifth progress to end-stage renal disease (ESRD). The risk of cardiovascular (CV) events and mortality is higher in patients with ESRD and in particular in patients suffering SLE. However, information about CV outcomes and mortality is limited in patients with LN associated ESRD.

We observed important variation in cardiovascular outcomes and mortality by race and ethnicity among lupus nephritis related ESRD patients. After adjusting for multiple demographic and clinical factors and accounting for the competing risk of kidney transplantation and loss to follow-up, our results illustrate for the first time that Asian (vs. White) and Hispanic (vs. non-Hispanic) lupus nephritis related ESRD patients have lower mortality risks.
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Lupus Nephritis Susceptibility Genes Identified

Hemodialysis.com Interview with:

Dr. David W. Powell PhD
Associate Director of Clinical Proteomics
Assistant Professor of Medicine Assistant
Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Department of Medicine/Nephrology
570 South Preston Street Baxter Research Building I, Room 102 South
Louisville, Kentucky

Hemodialysis.com: What are the main findings of the study? 

Dr. Powell: We found a strong association for variants in the gene encoding ABIN1 (a physiologic inhibitor of NF-B) and nephritis in systemic lupus erythematosus patients and that mice expressing a loss of function mutation of ABIN1 develop pathophysiologic features of the most common and severe form of human lupus nephritis.

Please read the rest on Hemodialysis.com.