British study published in the July issue of Arthritis & Rheumatism provides important insights into juvenile lupus, confirming the critical need for new treatments. Despite risk of long-term effects, almost all kids with lupus use corticosteroids; yet the disease still impacts their organs. In these young patients, the organ damage was primarily caused by the disease itself, versus in patients with later-onset disease, the damage tends to be associated with steroid use. Disease activity did respond to treatment, but within less than five years damage had already begun to develop. More than one third of the children had a family history of autoimmune disease, suggesting a strong genetic influence.
July 2, 2012