Scientists Hail Breakthrough Autoimmune Disease Therapy

HEALTHCARE

According to reports, five people with serious autoimmune disease have become the first in the world to receive a groundbreaking therapy that uses genetically altered cells to drive the sickness into remission.

Four women and one man has received transfusions of the modified immune cells to treat serious lupus, which is an autoimmune disease that can cause severe damage to the lungs, heart, kidneys, and brain. The treatment has driven the disease into remission in all five patients, who have now been off lupus medication between 3 to 17 months.

According to the doctors, the apparent success raises hopes for tackling other autoimmune conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, and multiple sclerosis. Lupus develops when the immune systems mistakenly attacks the healthy organs and tissues. The causes are not properly understood, but the researchers believe it might be triggered by some rival infections, changes in body around puberty and the menopause.

The condition affects around one in 1,000 people, and there are more women than men. It is tough to diagnose because the symptoms often flare up and settle down. While mild in most of the people, lupus can cause extreme organ damage, tiredness, and pain in the muscles and joints. Some of the most common signs is a distinctive skin rash over the cheeks and nose.

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