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Could Stem Cell Therapy Potentially Help Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)?

Could Stem Cell Therapy Potentially Help Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)?

Lupus is a condition that affects a patient’s immune system response, causing it to malfunction, leading to chronic inflammation throughout the body. This inflammation can be managed with medication but may cause painful symptoms. Researchers are now beginning to consider helping patients with regenerative therapy and stem cells. These amazing procedures can help heal the damage that has been caused by a variety of different autoimmune conditions.

What is Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)?

Lupus is a disease in which the immune system begins to recognize and attack the body’s tissues, which causes inflammation throughout the body in different organs. It can also affect the skin, joints, and even brain tissue. Although the disease occurs in people of all races and ethnic groups, it occurs more often in African Americans. Because lupus can produce a variety of symptoms in different individuals, it may take some time for a physician to make the proper diagnosis. Often a doctor may suspect lupus is present, but that the current symptoms are insufficient to confirm this diagnosis.

A physician will likely continue to closely monitor the symptoms and blood tests of their patient to confirm it is, in fact, lupus. To be diagnosed with lupus, you must have 4 out of 11 common signs of the disease. Nearly all people with lupus have a positive test for the antinuclear antibody (ANA). But only having a positive ANA test does not mean you have lupus, you must exhibit the necessary amount of symptoms. There is no current cure for SLE, but several treatments can control the symptoms. A specialist must see severe symptoms that involve the heart, lungs, kidneys, and other organs.

Lupus is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Having family members with this condition make it much more likely that a patient will eventually develop the disease. Two families of genes known to be associated with lupus are MHC class II and III. Major histocompatibility complex (MHC) genes help in your immune response by sending cells to help fight off an infectious invader. MHC III genes help to clear the immune complexes that have formed around the invader and are involved in the body’s immune response. Although there are several genes associated with lupus, the environmental factors that trigger it are still unknown.

How Can Stem Cell Therapy Help Patients With Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE)?

Lupus is a condition that can commonly be controlled through medication, surgery, and even chemotherapy. When the symptoms of lupus no longer respond to treatment, then the disease can become life-threatening. Researchers are considering stem cell therapy as a potential way to help patients with lupus that no longer can manage their symptoms. Some physicians have successfully restored normal immune functioning to their patients by helping them undergo an autologous stem cell transplant, similar to bone marrow transplants. Restoring immune function to patients with lupus can alleviate their symptoms and allow them to live a full and healthy life.

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