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Friday 20 September 2019
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Topic: Connective tissue disorders

August 15, 2019
Discovery gives new insight into both how and why many lupus patients suffer from these symptoms
A breakthrough study by a SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University research team in the US has identified a specific antibody target implicated in neuropsychiatric symptoms of lupus. 
These symptoms, including cognitive impairment, mood disorders, seizures, headaches and psychosis, are among the most prevalent manifestations of the disease and occur in as many as 80% of adults and 95% of children with lupus. 
August 8, 2019
Urine biomarkers represent promising candidates for the early diagnosis as well as the monitoring of disease activity and therapeutic responses in lupus nephritis
University of Houston researcher Chandra Mohan is reporting in Arthritis Research and Therapy that clotting proteins, both those that promote blood clots (pro-thrombotic) and those that work to dissipate them (thrombolytic), are elevated in the urine of patients who suffer from lupus nephritis (LN).
July 18, 2019
New research on the autoimmune disease systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) provides hints to the origins of this disorder and the results have been published in Nature Immunology
In people with SLE, their B cells are abnormally activated. That makes them produce antibodies that react against their own tissues, causing a variety of symptoms, such as fatigue, joint pain, skin rashes and kidney problems.
July 18, 2019
The development of high-throughput ‘omics’ technologies (genomics, transcriptomics or metabolomics) that allow simultaneous examination of thousands of genes, transcripts and proteins is expected to change the playing field
Despite the large number of laboratory tests ordered daily, diagnostic tools proven to be effective when managing immune-mediated diseases are limited, often forcing physicians to rely on a mixture of clinical, laboratory and radiological features to establish a diagnosis. 
June 20, 2019
The purpose of the study was to assess the drug’s pharmacokinetics, efficacy and safety for treatment of MAS and to confirm the proposed dose regimen
SOBI has announced that new research demonstrating the effects of emapalumab in patients with macrophage activation syndrome (MAS), a form of secondary haemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) complicating systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis (sJIA), was presented at the EULAR/Paediatric Rheumatology European Society (PReS) Scientific Congress in Madrid.  
June 19, 2019
Research led by the University of Birmingham in the UK has found re-purposing already existing drugs or combining therapies could be used to treat patients who have difficult to treat autoimmune diseases
Funded by Versus Arthitis, research led by the University of Birmingham's Institute of Inflammation and Ageing and Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences has been published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.1
The research, a collaboration with the University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, University of York, Université Rennes in France, and the University of Lausanne in Switzerland, was supported by the National Institute for Health Research Birmingham Biomedical Research Centre.
June 14, 2019
In the European Union alone, an extra one million employees could be in work each day if early interventions were more widely accessible for people with rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs)
EULAR has launched the Time2Work campaign to raise awareness of the impact rheumatic and musculoskeletal diseases (RMDs) have, not only on individuals, but wider society, productivity and our economies and what can be done to improve this situation.
Affecting one quarter of the EU population (120 million), RMDs are the biggest cause of sick leave and premature retirement due to physical disability. As one of the main causes of physical disability, RMDs contribute considerably to loss of productivity in the workplace.
June 14, 2019
Over half of patients and rheumatologists report diagnosis within six weeks as the most problematic standard of care
The results of a large pan-European survey presented at EULAR 2019 investigated significant gaps in rheumatoid arthritis care across 16 patient-centred Standards of Care (SoC) in rheumatoid arthritis.1  
June 13, 2019
ApoB:A1 ratio and metabolomic lipoprotein signatures identified as new biomarkers for cardiovascular risk in juvenile SLE patients
The results of a study presented at EULAR 2019 identify ApoB:A1 ratio and metabolomic lipoprotein signatures as potential  biomarkers for cardiovascular risk in patients with  juvenile-onset systemic lupus erythematosus (JSLE).1
In depth metabolomics was used to investigate dyslipidaemia and cardiovascular risk in a cohort of patients with  JSLE. Unbiased hierarchical clustering stratified patients by metabolomic profile and revealed three distinct groups.
June 6, 2019
Older men with scleroderma have more oestrogen than postmenopausal women with the disease, which could explain why the disease is often more severe in men
Oestrogen is the quintessentially female hormone.
It is surprising, then, that a Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) study found that a type of oestrogen, oestradiol, was more abundant in older men with scleroderma than in postmenopausal women with the disease. The MUSC team reports the findings of their National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded study in Arthritis Research & Therapy.
June 3, 2019
The management and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis is becoming more individualised thanks to the combined efforts of basic scientists and clinicians
The ultimate goal of modern medicine is a personalised approach for the individual patient, that is, a tailored management based on a finely tuned definition of immunogenetics, epigenetics, microbiome, and biomarkers, to maximise results and minimise risks of treatment (particularly of new biologics and small molecules). 
June 2, 2019
The evidence-based recommendations for the prevention and management of adult antiphospholipid syndrome are designed to help guide practice – and improve quality of care and patient outcomes
EULAR has published a set of recommendations for the management of antiphospholipid syndrome in adults.
Based on evidence from a systematic literature review and expert opinion, overarching principles and recommendations were formulated and voted. Three overarching principles and twelve recommendations were formulated. The overarching principles are:
May 31, 2019
A Federation called Sjögren Europe has been created by the national patient associations of ten European countries
Sjögren Europe is a European Federation of national patient associations for Sjögren’s Syndrome and rheumatic diseases created in February 2019 by the patient organisations of Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, United Kingdom and the support of the informal association of Belgium.
May 30, 2019
Scientists used powerful cryo-electron microscopes at the University of Leeds' Astbury Centre to reveal the structure of the regulator, comprised of two proteins in the body called BRISC and SHMT2, to understand for the first time how they work together in a cell.
Scientists have identified a new internal regulator that helps control the body's response to fight infection.
The discovery could be a target for new drugs to tackle autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and scleroderma, where healthy tissues are attacked by the body's own immune system.
"We want to put a brake on the body's own immune system to stop it turning on itself," said Dr Elton Zeqiraj from the University of Leeds.
May 23, 2019
The findings highlight the importance of increased awareness of lupus and its accelerated progression in certain racial/ethnic groups, and they point to the need for greater efforts to support early diagnosis and treatment in these populations
In the first epidemiologic study comparing lupus among four major racial/ethnic groups, researchers found that, following a lupus diagnosis, Blacks, Asians/Pacific Islanders, and Hispanics are at increased risk of developing problems related to the kidneys, the neurological system, and the blood. The findings have been published in Arthritis Care & Research.1
April 15, 2019
New research suggests that B cells gone bad could be the culprit in rheumatoid arthritis
A comprehensive profile of B cells in rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a first of its kind study, has been published in Arthritis & Rheumatology.1 
April 8, 2019
Research on the X chromosome has pointed to an abnormality in the immune system's T cells as a possible factor in lupus and other autoimmune diseases
Eighty-five percent of people with lupus are female, and their second X chromosome seems partly to blame. 
According to a new study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, females with lupus do not fully "silence" their second X chromosome in the immune system's T cells, leading to abnormal expression of genes linked to that chromosome.
April 5, 2019
The recommendations report on emerging new evidence and expert opinion made since the first EULAR Recommendations on systemic lupus erythematosus were published in 2008
EULAR has published an update to a set of recommendations for the management of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). 
Treatment in SLE aims at remission or low disease activity and prevention of flares. The updated recommendations provide physicians and patients with updated consensus guidance on the management of SLE.
April 2, 2019
The SLE populations of the pivotal BLISS-52 and BLISS-76 trials constitute large patient cohorts, ideal for post-hoc survey to better understand the disease itself, and the effects of belimumab treatment
The treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) has traditionally been non-specific, comprising glucocorticoids, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and broad immunosuppressive agents.
The monoclonal antibody belimumab towards the soluble counterpart of the B cell activating factor belonging to the tumour necrosis factor family (BAFF), also known as B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS), is the only targeted therapy approved by regulatory agencies for SLE, and has been available for use since 2011.1
March 28, 2019
Patients with lupus are on average seven to nine times more likely to develop heart disease than the general population, and younger women with lupus are 50-times as likely to develop the disease as young women without the disease
A research team at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) has shown that the enzyme responsible for nitric oxide production stops working properly when exposed to serum from lupus patients. They also showed that its ability to produce nitric oxide can be restored by administration of L-sepiapterin. Their findings are published in an article published ahead of print in Lupus Science & Medicine.1
March 8, 2019
A study funded by the Lupus Research Alliance shows that depleting the number of harmful B cells with a novel immunotherapy that employs CAR T-cells might offer an effective strategy to treat lupus
Depleting the number of harmful B cells with a novel immunotherapy that employs modified T cells may offer an effective strategy to treat lupus, according to a study funded by the Lupus Research Alliance. 
These findings offer a renewed optimism for the elimination of B cells to provide a therapeutic option in lupus and pave the way for clinical research to test this new approach.
March 1, 2019
A protein known to play a role in cancer may also be increasing fibrosis in scleroderma patients
In a recent study, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Amr Sawalha MD, a professor in the Division of Rheumatology at the University of Michigan and his team examined scleroderma at the molecular level to better understand the fibrosis process.1
February 20, 2019
While bacterial imbalances have been tied to many immune-related diseases, authors of a new study say their experiments are the first detailed evidence of a link between bacterial imbalances in the gut and potentially life-threatening forms of systemic lupus erythematous
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is linked to an abnormal mix of bacteria in the gut according to a new study led by scientists at NYU School of Medicine.
The study, published in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseasesshowed that 61 women diagnosed with SLE had roughly five times more Ruminococcus gnavusgut bacteria than 17 women of similar ages and racial backgrounds who did not have the disease and were healthy.1 Lupus is more common in women than in men.
January 7, 2019
NOVESA is planned to recruit 30 patients with diffuse cutaneous systemic sclerosis, an autoimmune disease involving multiorgan fibrosis, which has one of the highest mortality rates among rheumatic diseases
Galapagos NV has expanded its clinical study program with GLPG1690 in systemic sclerosis (SSc), following the recent start of the ISABELA Phase III program with ’1690 in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).