June 26, 2010

Jenny's Updates from 9th International Lupus Congress - Day 2

Even though 5:30 came way too soon, I was so glad I attended the Walk around the Bay this morning. The sunbeams sparkling on the water, joggers jogging and dogs playing, and all of us in our white t-shirts… Just wait '’til you see the fun photos! Sculptures in the park (crouching red men and scattered white sacks), houseboats that looked like cottages and yachts that looked like —well, mansions; all in all, it was a great way to start the day.

And then: the plunge into the day's meeting.

Ask any lupus doc: they'’ll tell you that people living with lupus are just about the most determined people they know: determined to learn all they can about their disease, determined not to let lupus define who they are. Well, the same goes for the lupus researchers and physicians around the world. On behalf of their patients, they are determined to beat lupus!

Here are some of the things I learned in today'’s scientific sessions.

Genes markers will one day reveal which person will respond best to which medication. Biomarkers will be able to predict risk for heart disease and thinning bones and blood clots. Improved designs of clinical trials are making possible the first-ever medication specifically for lupus.

Meanwhile, many important lupus studies are underway: antiphospholipid antibodies (Canada), lung involvement (USA), kidney transplants (Spain), memory loss (South Korea), mood and anxiety disorders (Brazil), cognitive function (Chile), the influence of aging (Egypt), lupus nephritis (Iran), cutaneous lupus (Romania), to name just a few, —and of special importance to those with lupus: the LFA presentation on how lupus affects employment, family relationships, and overall well-being.

We are very grateful to the men and women who spend their lives unraveling this complex disease. Stay tuned!

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