June 1, 2023

Autoimmune diseases: a priority target for treating systemic lupus

A protein that causes the immune system to run wild on contact with RNA debris offers a promising avenue for treatment.

It is a somewhat mysterious autoimmune disease, which affects more than 27,000 people in France. It affects 41 people out of 100,000 in mainland France, nine times out of ten women, but it is more than twice as common in Guadeloupe (94/100,000) and three times more in Martinique (127/100,000), indicates the Social Security. Systemic lupus (LS, or systemic lupus erythematosus) causes chronic fatigue and more or less severe damage to the kidneys, joints, skin and other organs. In the past, these lesions could lead to death in people who were still young. Currently, LS is treated with drugs that limit the hyperactivity of the immune system but whose regular intake has adverse effects that must be monitored.

But research is progressing. Thus, the discovery of a mutation responsible on its own for systemic lupus in a 7-year-old girl by Australian researchers has brought to light an important player in the…

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