SAN FRANCISCO--Researchers at the University of California here have launched a new study that aims to identify the genes linked to the potentially fatal autoimmune disease lupus. Led by Lindsey Criswell, the team will focus on 10 candidate genes believed to predispose individuals to the disease, which strikes a disproportionate number of women, African-Americans, and Hispanics.
Criswell said she hoped the study will result in the development of better drugs to treat the condition, and autoimmune diseases in general. "The inadequacies of current therapies for lupus stem largely from our lack of understanding about the underlying causes of the disease," Criswell commented. "We hope that by defining the genetic determinants of this serious illness, safer, more effective drugs will eventually become available."
"We would anticipate that a clearer understanding of the genetic causes of lupus would pave the way to a better understanding of other autoimmune diseases," she added.