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Scientists identify genetic cause of lupus

For the first time, Australian scientists have identified the genetic cause of lupus in a specific individual.

Scientists identify genetic cause of lupus

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes various tissues in the body to become inflamed, swollen and very painful.

It commonly affecting the skin and joints of sufferers it can also target their major organs.

Scientists have previously thought that there are genetic causes of the disease but have been stumped as to just what does trigger the disease.

Now researchers at Australian National University say they have been able to identify the genetic cause of lupus in a 10-year-old girl using personalised medicine.

“Using DNA sequencing, the approach we’ve taken, we’ve been able to identify the specific cause of this child’s disease,” Dr Ellyard, the study’s lead researcher told reporters.

“(It is an) increased amount of a particular molecule, called interferon-alpha, being produced.”

The team from ANU are confident that he discovery will assist in new ways of treating people with lupus.

“We’re hoping that now this girl can have specialised treatment using anti-interferon therapies, which are currently in clinical trials,” Dr Ellyard stressed.

“Now we are able to tailor treatment for her disease.”

Lupus affects less than 1000 people in Australia. there are several varieties of the illness which can range in severity from life threatening to mild and treatable.

The disease is thought to be brought on by a period of illness, stress or injury.

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