About Lupus

What Is Lupus?

Lupus (systemic lupus erythematosus) is an autoimmune disease that affects millions of people worldwide.

When functioning properly, your immune system makes proteins called antibodies that protect you as they battle antigens, such as viruses and bacteria. If you have lupus, your immune system can’t differentiate between antigens and healthy tissue. So, your antibodies attack both. As a result, lupus sufferers can experience a range of symptoms, including fatigue, inflammation, swelling and damage to joints, skin, kidneys, blood, the heart and lungs.

Lupus Has A Long History

Since 1844, thousands of researchers have studied lupus. Over 65,000 professional papers have been published about it, with almost 5,000 appearing over the past year and a half.

If you have lupus, you’re not alone. According to the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA), 1.5 to 2 million Americans have some form of it. It’s more prevalent than other, more high-profile diseases such as leukemia, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis. The disease affects males and females, but women have a 10 times greater chance of developing it. Women who get lupus tend to be aged 15 to 45. African-American women suffer from more severe symptoms and a higher mortality rate.

The Wabl Lab Connection

For years, our focus has been on pinpointing the cause of lupus, and its cure. We’re also studying the benefits of selected drugs that could be used to control the disease.

Our research into lupus in mice indicates that endogenous retroviruses and other retroelements in some way trigger autoimmunity and cause lupus. Our goal is to identify those retroelements and the role they may play in people with lupus.

Contact us for more information.