News

Monocyte Profiles Can ID Distinct Groups in Systemic Scleroderma

Analyzing the global genetic activity of immune cells called monocytes can identify distinct groups among people with systemic scleroderma, a new study indicates. This type of analysis “may represent a viable mechanism for identifying patients and potentially their response to therapeutics,” its researchers wrote. The study, “…

Tobacco Linked To Worsening GI Symptoms, Not Some SSc Medicines

Tobacco use by systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients is linked to worsening gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, but the immunosuppressive and anti-scarring medications used to treat the autoimmune disease aren’t, according to a recent analysis of data from a multicenter, U.S.-based patient registry. The findings are striking in light of previous…

SPAG17 Protein May Protect Against Scarring in SSc, Study Says

People with systemic sclerosis (SSc) have lower-than-normal levels of the SPAG17 protein in their skin cells, which contributes to the excessive scarring that marks the disease, a study suggests. Mice lacking the protein developed signs of scarring, or fibrosis, consistent with that seen in people with SSc, also called scleroderma,…

Silica Dust Exposure Linked to Worse SSc Symptoms

Exposure to silica, a mineral used to make building materials, at work is associated with younger age at diagnosis, more severe disease, and reduced survival in people with systemic sclerosis (SSc), according to a study of more than 1,000 patients in Canada and Mexico. Also, those reporting on-the-job silica…

Grant Supports Search for Skin Fibrosis Treatments

A grant of more than $400,000 has been awarded to a researcher who is searching for new ways to treat scleroderma, how the disease begins and progresses in the skin, and how it responds to treatments. The awardee is Karin Wuertz-Kozak, PhD, a professor in the biomedical engineering department…

Epstein-Barr Virus Reactivation Studied in SSc Patients

People with systemic sclerosis (SSc) show higher levels of certain antibodies against the Epstein-Barr virus, which is suggestive of dormant viral infections becoming reactivated in these patients, a new study shows. The study, “Detection of Epstein–Barr virus in systemic sclerosis patients: A molecular and serological based…