Like more than 14 million other Americans, I have an autoimmune disease – and I’m always interested in hearing what scientists uncover about these mysterious and pesky disorders. Turns out this is a pretty big week, research-wise, for one such disease. A Stanford researcher just published a paper showing how lupus develops in mice – something that should lead to a better understanding of the cause of the disease in humans. And in two separate studies in the journal Nature Genetics, scientists have identified 12 specific gene variants that are connected to an increased risk of the disorder. As discussed in this WebMD article:
Researchers say the presence of these genes, together with environmental and lifestyle factors, such as sunlight, stress, hormones, cigarette smoke, and certain infections, may all play a part in what causes lupus.
For related reading, check out this Stanford Medicine piece on another theory on the culprit behind lupus and related diseases.