Arthritis Research & Therapy launches new autoimmune review series

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Autoimmune diseases affect more than 50 million people
in the USA alone and are estimated
to be among the ten leading causes of death among women under the age of 65.
 They occur when an overactive immune system
mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue, thus leading to
chronic inflammatory conditions.

Coinciding with National Autoimmune Disease Awareness Month, which aims to support the education, awareness and research funding
for autoimmune disorders, Arthritis
Research & Therapy
has published the
first six articles in a new review collection on the Autoimmune Basis of Rheumatic Diseases.  This comprehensive series, written and edited by renowned
experts in the field, aims to provide an in-depth discussion of recent
developments in the pathogenesis, treatment and genetic background of four
autoimmune rheumatic diseases.

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), which can affect
any part of the body, is one such autoimmune rheumatic disease that has a
rapidly developing research field. Indeed, this month we received news that the
Food and Drug Administration have approved the first new SLE drug in more
than 50 years.  The identification of novel targets for therapy has been
facilitated by the study of signalling and gene transcription abnormalities in
SLE T cells, which is explored in detail by Moulton and Tsokos in
the most recent contribution to the SLE section of the series, edited
by David Pisetsky (Duke University Medical Centre, USA).  Another review published in this series explores the interplay of
cardiac risk factors and SLE-specific mechanisms in the development of
accelerated atherosclerosis in SLE patients and discusses potential therapeutic
targets.
Myositis, Sjögren’s syndrome and vasculitis are the three other autoimmune rheumatic diseases covered in this
review series.