Dublin High SchoolClass of 2024Dublin, CA
- "Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Pathophysiology of Under-Funded Autoimmune Diseases and Potential Treatments " with mentor Gabriel (July 11, 2022)
Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis: Understanding the Pathophysiology of Under-Funded Autoimmune Diseases and Potential Treatments
Started Apr. 21, 2022
Abstract or project description
The immune system is a body system made up of cells, organs, and proteins that work together to defend the body against foreign pathogen invaders. However, there are times when the immune system attacks and kills its own healthy tissue and cells, a condition known as autoimmunity. An autoimmune disease occurs when the immune system does not know the difference between the body’s own cells/tissue and foreign pathogens, so it attacks its own cells. We examined two such autoimmune diseases: Lupus and Multiple Sclerosis (MS). Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that is often separated into five types: systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), discoid lupus erythematosus, subacute cutaneous lupus erythematosus, neonatal lupus, and drug-induced lupus. Lupus is mostly characterized by the inflammation it causes throughout the body, including a noticeable butterfly rash on the face. Over 5 million people worldwide are affected by Lupus. Lupus tends to affect women more than men, likely due to higher estrogen levels. There is no current treatment for lupus, but experimental trials have had varying results depending on the severity of the disease, with some treatments including Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or B Lymphocyte Stimulator (BLyS) -specific inhibitors. MS is a chronic autoimmune disease characterized by fatigue, impaired vision, and tremors. MS is caused when the immune system destroys myelin, the protective sheath of nerve fibers, thereby disrupting the flow of information in the nervous system and causing nerve damage. Worldwide, there are about 2.3 million people diagnosed with MS. For research on these diseases, as of 2022, Lupus received over $139 million in funds while MS received just over $20 million. Although MS and Lupus are both autoimmune diseases that affect a significant population in the world, they do not receive nearly as much funding as compared to other diseases such as cancer and Parkinson’s.