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Lupus Clinical Research

Learn about Achieve's Lupus Clinical Trials

Lupus sufferer enrolls in a clinical trialDo you want to know why clinical trials for lupus are so important? At this time, we still don’t know how to cure this chronic autoimmune disease. Clinical trials give us an opportunity to test the promising new treatments, as well as gain a more thorough understanding of what in many ways is still a mysterious disease. Research studies also provide a very unique opportunity for participants, especially those that haven’t had much success using more conventional therapies.

Lupus occurs when an individual’s immune system actually starts attacking the body’s healthy tissues— mistaking them for insidious threats. Like many other autoimmune disorders, people with lupus can experience a wide range of symptoms. Some people will never know it as more than a mild inconvenience, while others will deal with life long scars and other severe complications.

Lupus Fast Fact

  • Studies have also shown that this disease is much more common in people of Native American, African, and Asian descent.
  • Just about 90 percent of all confirmed lupus patients are women.
  • Most people are diagnosed with this autoimmune disease between the ages of 15 and 44 (although it can manifest in older adults).
  • It’s estimated that at least 1.5 million people are living with some form of lupus.
  • Due to the irregularity of symptoms, lupus has proven exceddingly difficult to diagnose accurately.

Researchers have identified two primary types of lupus:

  • Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE)
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Discoid lupus erythematosus (DLE) mainly affects the skin of the individual— in particular that which is exposed to the sun. Fortunately, this type of lupus won’t normally attack the internal organs. The disease can produce these discoid (circular) skin lesions which can leave significant scarring after they have healed.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is more common, and (unfortunately) it tends to be more serious than DLE. The symptoms of SLE affect the patient’s skin in addition to their vital organs. One of the tell-tale signs of SLE is the butterfly-shaped rash that can manifest across the cheeks and nose. These can leave permanent scars if not immediately treated with medications like these.

(You can find out more about the many symptoms associated with lupus by checking out this page too.)

Lupus has also been known to damage the connective tissues and membranes of the:

  • Muscles
  • Joints
  • Brain
  • Heart
  • Lungs
  • Kidneys (SLE can cause kidney disease)

If the brain has been impacted by this chronic autoimmune disease, than patients may experience:

  • Depression
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Stroke

The term systemic means that this disease can affect any aspect of the patient’s body. It’s why lupus can be deadly in certain instances. The disease can go to work on the blood vessels causing complications such as Raynaud’s syndrome. This can be a serious problem for patients living in cooler climates.

What Causes Lupus?

For as much as we understand about this disease, we are still undecided as to the exact cause of lupus. In fact, studies seem to suggest that it is a combination of environmental, genetic, hormonal and immune response factors.

Researchers theorize that any of the following could play a vital role in triggering this chronic autoimmune disease:

  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Viral and bacterial infections
  • High levels of emotional stress
  • Elevated estrogen levels as a result of pregnancy

More Reading
Lupus: A Closer Look at the Autoimmune Condition Infographic

Current Lupus Clinical Trials

Achieve Clinical Research is currently conducting a wide array of clinical studies targeted towards certain conditions. You may be eligible to participate in one of our Alabama lupus clinical trials and contribute to the development and approval of a new drug or treatment. As a participant, there is no cost to you at any point during the study and health insurance is not required. Browse our clinical trials being conducted now to find the study best suited for you.

An Educational Video on Lupus Symptoms in Men and Women


Additional Resources for Patients with Lupus

Lupus Foundation of America

American College of Rheumatology

Alliance for Lupus Research

SLE Lupus Foundation

If you live around Central Alabama, click here to learn more about participating in a lupus clinical trial.