Steps toward Stopping Autoimmune Disease:
International consortium identifies genes linked to lupus
NEW YORK, January 20, 2008—A landmark genetic study has identified multiple genes linked to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), or lupus, a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects an estimated 1.4 million Americans.
Lupus can affect the joints, kidneys, heart, lungs, brain and blood and occurs in about 31 out of every 100,000 people. Women are nine times more likely than men to develop the condition, which is often difficult to diagnose.
In 2005 the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) formed and supported the International Systemic Lupus Erythematosus Genetics (SLEGEN) Consortium, charging scientists with searching for genetic variants that might predispose an individual to developing lupus.
Published in the January 20, 2008, issue of Nature Genetics, initial study results uncovered several genes linked to lupus and underscore the importance of genetic variants in diseases that affect immune function. The findings will ultimately lead to new therapies and earlier diagnosis.
“The SLEGEN study is a model for collaborative genetic research,” said Mary Kuntz Crow, M.D., an immunity and inflammation specialist at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York and 2008 chair of the ALR Scientific Advisory Board. “The ALR approach of supporting investigations targeted toward developing new therapies for people with lupus is unique and meaningful.”
Summary: A client study identified 13 genetic candidates that may be linked to lupus – a scientific success.
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