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AARDA Launches Innovative New Autoimmunity Curriculum for Elementary and Middle School Teachers

The American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association, Inc. (AARDA) has launched the first-of-its kind autoimmune curriculum for teachers of grades three through eight.

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Is Parkinson’s an Autoimmune Disease?

The cause of neuronal death in Parkinson’s disease is still unknown, but a new study proposes that neurons may be mistaken for foreign invaders and killed by the person’s own immune system, similar to the way autoimmune diseases like type I diabetes, celiac disease, and multiple sclerosis attack the body’s cells.

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Immune System Genes Activated by Estrogen May Hold Clues to Lupus Origin

Most autoimmune diseases disproportionately affect women, but scientists do not know why. Researchers say they’ve discovered a group of immune-regulating genes that increase activity in the presence of estrogen, which could help explain why women are better able to fight off infectious disease – and why they are more at risk for developing autoimmune diseases like lupus. The discovery also opens the door for new therapies that could help regulate estrogen’s impact on these hormone-sensitive genes.

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Vigilance for Kidney Problems Key for Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Rheumatoid arthritis patients are likelier than the average person to develop chronic kidney disease, and more severe inflammation in the first year of rheumatoid arthritis, corticosteroid use, high blood pressure and obesity are among the risk factors, new Mayo Clinic research shows. Physicians should test rheumatoid arthritis patients periodically for signs of kidney problems, and patients should work to keep blood pressure under control, avoid a high-salt diet, and eliminate or scale back medications damaging to the kidneys, says senior author Eric Matteson, M.D., Mayo rheumatology chair. The study is published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases, the National Kidney Foundation journal.

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Can Antibiotics Cause Autoimmunity?

A certain class of antibiotics prompts cells to produce low levels of novel self proteins that could trigger an autoimmune disease.

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A New Approach to Huntington's Disease?

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Tweaking a specific cell type’s ability to absorb potassium in the brain improved walking and prolonged survival in a mouse model of Huntington’s disease, reports a UCLA study in Nature Neuroscience. The discovery could point to new drug targets for treating the devastating disease, which strikes one in every 20,000 Americans.

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Autoimmune Drug May Help Prevent Kidney Disease Caused by Diabetes

• A receptor called B7-1 is expressed by kidney cells during the progression of kidney disease in diabetic mice and humans. • Targeting this receptor with an available drug called CTLA4-Ig, or abatacept, helps to maintain kidney function in mice.

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Gout Isn’t Always Easy to Prove: CT Scans Help Catch Cases Traditional Test Misses

Gout is on the rise among U.S. men and women, and this piercingly painful and most common form of inflammatory arthritis is turning out to be more complicated than had been thought. The standard way to check for gout is by drawing fluid or tissue from an affected joint and looking for uric acid crystals, a test known as a needle aspirate. That usually works, but not always: In a new Mayo Clinic study, X-rays known as dual-energy CT scans found gout in one-third of patients whose aspirates tested negative for the disease. The CT scans allowed rheumatologists to diagnose gout and treat those patients with the proper medication.

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In the Age of the Affordable Care Act; New Surveys of Patients, Physicians Highlight Challenges Facing Autoimmune Disease Patients

National coalition of autoimmune patient groups release findings for national autoimmune disease awareness month.

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News Briefing on Status of Autoimmune Disease in the Age of the Affordable Care Act Hosted by National Coalition of Autoimmune Patient Groups

NEWS BRIEFING ON STATUS OF AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE IN THE AGE OF THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HOSTED BY NATIONAL COALITION OF AUTOIMMUNE PATIENT GROUPS

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