Lupus - a chronic autoimmune disease that causes inflammation, pain and damage to the skin, joints and organs.
To understand how the disease begins, researchers from the University of Michigan established whether biomarkers of renal injury indicate the progression of lupus symptoms and complications.
"Patients with a diagnosis of lupus at high risk of kidney damage, which leads to end-stage renal disease requiring dialysis or transplantation, - says Emily Somers, Ph.D., assistant professor of internal medicine (rheumatology) and a member of the Institute of UM for Health and Innovation messaging . - In addition, there is a great need for biomarkers to detect the disease at an early stage and to monitor its development. "
"Lupus affects mainly women, - says Somers. - As part of the study program of the disease we have shown that black women higher risk of lupus. Forty percent of them struck by the kidney, and 15 percent suffer from kidney failure. "
In a new study presented at the American Nephrology meeting in November, Somers and his colleagues measured the epidermal growth factor in the urine of patients with lupus. This protein is a promising noninvasive biomarker of progression of kidney disease. A team of scientists has found that the decrease in protein growth factor was a sign of decreasing kidney function in people with a chronic disease of the body.
The study showed that the levels of epidermal growth factor in urine of 394 patients with lupus are best performance compared to standard markers such as protein-to-creatinine ratio. This suggests that the epidermal growth factor plays a role in the overall results of the study of lupus.
"This biomarker - a method of monitoring disease severity - says Somers. - We aim to identify the disease before it will cause even more complications. "
In September, Somers was awarded a three-year grant in the amount of three million US dollars to continue to study lupus program and study of risk factors.