Leading the way to a cure

Lupus Research Update: 2009 Volume 2

Volume 2, 2009 - Online Edition | In This Issue

Discovery of Gene Linked to Gender in Lupus >
Breakthrough: Risk Factors for Blood Clots in People With Lupus >
Congratulations, Mr. Johnson, on Corporate Citizenship Award! >
Looking Ahead to the Future of Genetic Research >
The Face of Lupus: Dani Garceau, Baltimore, Maryland >

Breakthrough: Risk Factors for Blood Clots in People With Lupus

Dr. Lindsey Criswell and her team at the University of California, San Francisco are just past the mid-point of their 2-year Alliance for Lupus Research Target in Lupus Identification (TIL) grant.

“One of the most important things the ALR grant has allowed us to do is to support the development of a new lupus researcher, Dr. Rachel Kaiser,” says Dr. Criswell. “Dr. Kaiser has contributed greatly to our successful efforts so far.”

With Dr. Kaiser and her research team, Dr. Criswell was able to publish results of their work analyzing blood clotting (or thrombosis) in a large, multi-ethnic group of people with lupus. The team found several factors that increased the risk of thrombosis for people with lupus, including older age at onset, longer disease duration, having taken strong medications such as Cytoxan and smoking. They also found that individuals who had taken hydroxychloroquine, or Plaquenil, had a lower risk of experiencing a blood clot.

Next Dr. Criswell and her team moved on to exploring the genetic variant Factor V Leiden, which is known to be an important risk factor for blood clots. “Very little work had previously been done to examine genetic causes of blood clotting in lupus,” says Dr. Criswell.

The team found that Factor V increased the risk of blood clotting in lupus almost threefold.

The research group is now trying to identify additional genes that make people with lupus more at risk for thrombosis.

“Our goal is to understand the root causes of blood clotting in lupus,” says Dr. Criswell. “With that information, we’ll be able to better identify which individuals are most at risk and, hopefully, intervene with better preventive treatments and therapies.”

1.5 million

people in the U.S. have Lupus.

172 million

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