With the start of Lupus Awareness Month, we’re offering up a snapshot of our growing lupus research community and one of the many people who has joined to make the work possible.
Since we launched our Lupus Research Study we’re already more than halfway to reaching our goal of enrolling 5,000 people living with lupus.
Launched last year in collaboration with Pfizer Inc, the study is meant to help better understand the genetics of this insidious autoimmune disease, which affects almost 1.5 million in the United States alone. Symptoms for lupus can range from joint inflammation to sores and skin rashes – often in the form of blotchy red marks on the face. The symptoms can progress to other issues including damage to the kidneys, heart or lungs.
While the cause of lupus is unknown, several studies indicate that a number of factors, including genetics, hormones and the environment all play a role. Lupus also impacts women more than men – 90 percent of the cases are women – and it often hits them between the ages of 15 and 44, although a significant percentage of cases hit people in childhood.
Lupus is a serious condition, but we are inspired by the positive attitude of many of those who are participating in this research. One of the several thousand people who’ve enrolled in 23andMe’s Lupus Study is Mary Frances, a California mother who was first diagnosed in college.
Despite the challenges she’s faced along the way, she remains positive.
You have to think – someone else has it worse than me and turn your attention to the challenge,” she said.
Learn more about our study.