Lupus in the News: Learning Opportunities Lie Ahead


Topics and dates for an expanded nationwide education series, Lupus: Learn from the Experts, were announced by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA).

Topics and dates for an expanded nationwide education series, Lupus: Learn from the Experts, were announced by the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). The LFA program, a series of webinars, is designed to provide patients who have lupus with essential information about living with the disease.

Scheduled webinar topics and presenters for 2012 include the following:

• "Skin Lupus and Quality of Life," presented by Victoria Werth, MD, at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine.

• "Treatments for Lupus," by Murray Urowitz, MD, at the Toronto Western Research Institute.

• "Pregnancy and Lupus," by Eliza Chakravarty, MD, at the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation.

• "Pediatric Lupus," by Emily von Scheven, MD, at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital.

• "Nutrition, Diet and Exercise," by Joe Raphael, DrPHc, at Stirling Behavioral Health in California.

• "Coping and Living with Fatigue," by Afton Hassett, PsyD, at the University of Michigan Medical School.

Two new webinars will be offered in Spanish. They are "Coping and Living with Fatigue," by Graciela Alarcon, MD, at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and "Treatments for Lupus," by Luis Villa, MD, at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.

The LFA lupus education seminars are free to participants. To register or obtain more information, patients may visit

In other LFA news, men generally require a higher number of lupus-susceptible genes for the condition to develop than women, according to a report on an LFA-funded study that appeared in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. The study reinforces previous understanding that both genes and environmental factors play a role in lupus and may help identify who is at risk for the disease, the LFA noted. Men represent only 10% of patients with lupus, but they often experience a more severe disease, and although the exact cause of lupus is unknown, researchers think that lupus results from a combination of genetic, hormonal, and environmental factors.

In addition, a new lupus test shows a high level of accuracy in improving the diagnosis and in measuring disease activity, the LFA announced. The test, Avise SLE, is a 5-marker panel designed to rule in systemic lupus erythematosus and rule out other rheumatologic diseases. It was launched by Exagen Diagnostics, Inc, Albuquerque, New Mexico. A previous study funded by the LFA evaluated this same biomarker panel for measuring disease activity in lupus, but the current research suggests that a more refined way of looking for clues from the complement proteins might represent an improvement over commonly used tests, the LFA noted.

For more information about lupus, visit the LFA Web site at Or, contact the organization at Lupus Foundation of America, Inc, 2000 L Street NW, Suite 410, Washington, DC 20036; telephone: (202) 349-1155; fax: (202) 349-1156.

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