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5 Things You Need to Know: Lupus Awareness

Although Lupus Awareness Month takes place in May, the impact of the disease is felt year-round. A live webinar on advances in lupus research is taking place on Wednesday, Oct. 26, in New York City, and may be attended in person or via the Internet.

1. What is Lupus?

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that can affect various parts of the body, especially the skin, joints, blood, and kidneys, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.

2. What Happens with Lupus

Normally the immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from foreign invaders, such as the flu, the foundation's website stated. The immune system cannot tell the difference between foreign invaders and the body’s healthy tissues. Auto-antibodies are created that attack and destroy healthy tissue and the auto-antibodies cause inflammation, pain and damage in parts of the body.

3. Support in Connecticut

The Connecticut chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America is located in Farmington. The website provides online support and information on monthly support groups. The chapter can be reached at 860-269-6240.

4.Those Who Know What It Feels Like

Sara Gorman was diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus and started blogging about her experiences in 2007. She figured out how to make living with lupus easier and shares the tips on her blog, Despite Lupus.

5. Upcoming Event on Advances in Lupus Research

Advances in Lupus Research: Spotlight on Treatment, will take place from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, hosted by the Hospital for Special Surgery located in New York City.

Seating is limited, but people can register for a live webinar and listen to the presentation via the Internet. Registration for the event will close on Tuesday, Oct. 18.

Dr. Susan Manzi will lead the discussion on the status of lupus research and new lupus treatments, with Dr. Michael Lockshin and Dr. Jane Salmon.

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