Not only can lupus be painful, but it also can damage the skin, organs, and joints. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that is chronic or has signs lasting more than six weeks and are often with patients for many years.
Lupus means that something is wrong with the immune systems, which fights off bacteria, germs, and viruses and produces proteins called antibodies.
With an autoimmune disease, your immune system is unable to tell the difference between foreign invaders, that bring on colds and flu, or healthy tissue. Your immune system generates autoantibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue instead of fighting off germs, bacteria, and viruses.
This condition can range from mild to life-threatening and needs to be diagnosed and treated by a doctor. And, if you take care of yourself, you can manage your symptoms and have a better quality life.
Annually, approximately 16,000 or more instances of lupus are reported in the U.S, and research estimates that 1.5 million Americans have lupus.
Lupus strikes mainly childbearing age women, but children, teenagers, and men can acquire lupus, too. The disease usually hits individuals between the ages of 15 and 44. Women of color are two to three times more likely to develop lupus. However, people of all ethnicities and races can develop the condition.
Lupus Foundation of America
This is a foundation that has inspired advances in lupus research. They provide insight and education concerning the causes of lupus and its progress. This foundation has developed opportunities to expand the knowledge about the disease and has provided valuable information toward identifying those at the highest risk for the condition.
Their ultimate goal? Stop the disease before it actually starts.
The Lupus Foundation of America has been working for over four decades to fund research and bring information about lupus to the attention of the medical community. It has supported over 400 studies on lupus and worked with over 100 institutions in the United States. Researchers have received funding and grants from the Foundation that has made it possible for advancements in the research on lupus.
- Led to finding specific risk factors for cardiovascular disease
- Support development of the first diagnostic tests
- Brought awareness of the risk of cardiovascular disease in those with lupus.
- Led to potential biomarkers that identify people who are at higher risk for caused kidney disease.
- Led to research studies on cognitive issues in different populations with lupus and its relationship to disability, employment, and lifestyle.
The foundation has achieved:
- Improving clinical trials with industry to discover new therapies and treatments for lupus.
- The ALF commissioned the influential independent national report, Overcoming the Barriers to Drug Development in Lupus. This national report is a roadmap for the industry, government, and the foundation’s research program.
- The ALF created a universal gateway used by clinical investigators around the world.
- The foundation brought together the most intelligent lupus investigators for a national conference about the environment and lupus.
The American Lupus Foundation Funding
- Researchers and physicians came together to make a more accurate and earlier diagnosis of lupus with the first ever diagnostic test.
- The foundation provided funding that helped discover a gene that could lead to the onset of lupus.
- The research initiative into cardiovascular disease explains why those with lupus develop heart disease at an earlier age than people in the general population.
- Research for children with lupus was urgently needed, and the foundation established a pediatric lupus research enterprise.
- Rallying support
- The Department of Defense Medical Research Program includes lupus research as an emphasis area. The Agency has allocated $1 million in funding for research. This funding is a direct result of the foundation’s work.
- The foundation works with lupus champions in Congress. Working with champions promoted the Congressional Lupus Caucus in the U.S. House of Representatives. This caucus ensures that members of Congress are aware of the needs of people affected by this condition and the scientific community that is working to advance research for lupus.
- The foundation has helped secure more than $3 million in Congressional appropriations for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office on Women’s Health (OWH). Our foundation convinced them to conduct the Ad Council’s public awareness campaign on lupus that increases the understanding of lupus symptoms. This awareness campaign also serves to help the public be aware that this disease needs early diagnosis and prompt treatment. The American Lupus Foundation is the Founding Partner with the OWH on the campaign, and we have generated more than $80 million in earned and donated media placements.
- Congressional support has been secured to establish a Federal Working Group for Lupus at the National Institute of Health. This program allows the exchange of information and coordination with all federal agencies with a concern for those with lupus.
If you would like to connect to lupus organization and show your support, LupusConnect™ is an online community where those who have lupus and friends and family can join with others to find emotional support, share experiences, and talk about how to cope with the daily challenges of the disease. The portal is online and inspires community members to reply to posts, read about other’s experiences, and ask questions. The community is safe and devoted to comforting those with lupus.