NEW YORK, NY. Feb. 14.
In recognition of National Organ Donor Day, the Lupus Research Alliance (LRA) is launching a new campaign to encourage people with lupus to think with their hearts to help scientists solve how and why lupus can impact the brain. To address brain-related issues, the LRA has partnered with the Harvard Brain Tissue Resource Center to create the first-ever Lupus Brain Bank and together ask people with lupus to gift-forward brain tissue to advance science for future generations.
Up to 95% of people with lupus experience neuropsychiatric lupus (NPSLE) which includes a wide range of symptoms such as not thinking clearly, forgetting things or in more serious cases, even seizures, strokes and psychosis.
LRA is Invested in Solving NPSLE
The Lupus Research Alliance has long funded research to address NPSLE. Currently, we are supporting one clinical trial through our affiliate Lupus Therapeutics a clinical trial to test an innovative treatment approach with common drugs used to lower blood pressure. Another study we are funding is examining why psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety are so common in children with lupus.
But, to gain a deeper understanding of what’s going wrong in the brain, scientists must have human tissue to study. The new Lupus Brain Bank gives every person with lupus a way to help future generations by donating their brain to science at the time of death.
Dr. Shayla Shorter, LRA’s Scientific Program Manager and person with lupus, who oversees the new Lupus Brain Bank program has already signed up. Dr. Shorter said, ‘My family understood my desire to donate once I expressed how much it would mean to me to have my life with lupus memorialized in this meaningful way. I am excited to personally take this powerful action in the fight against lupus. I took this first step for the next generation of people with lupus, and I hope others will too.”
Key Facts to Know About Brain Bank Donation
- There is no cost to the donor or their family.
- A person who signs up to donate can change their mind at any time.
- A brain donor can also be an organ donor.
- Visit lupusresearch.org/BrainBank to learn more.
It’s no accident that National Organ Donor Day falls on February 14. Have a Heart this Valentine’s Day and leave a priceless legacy to help reduce brain-related issues with lupus!