French scientists have discovered that lupus patients have excess blood cells called platelets – small cell fragments that circulate in the blood, clumping together to form clots. These excess and overly-active platelets trigger production of inflammation-promoting proteins called interferons. Tests on mice given anti-platelet medication showed reduced lupus symptoms and increased life expectancy. The results suggest that anticoagulant drugs like clopidogrel (Plavix) could prevent lupus flare ups in people, and the scientists hope to start clinical trials on humans soon.

Lupus is a chronic, incurable auto-immune disease where the body’s immune system turns on itself, attacking its own tissue. The resulting inflammation causes pain and damages organs, particularly the kidneys. The most common symptoms include rashes, fever, hair loss, fatigue, aches and pains, and inflammation of the arteries and veins, tendons, brain, kidney and the membrane surrounding the lungs. Serious cases can be life threatening, with patients suffering kidney failure and out of control infections.

About one-and-a-half million Americans have lupus, which can be diagnosed with blood tests. It effects nine times more women than men, and usually strikes between the ages of 15 and 50. Its cause has not yet known, although researchers have identified genetic, hormonal and environmental factors. Some lupus patients have only mild and/or transitory flare ups which may go undiagnosed, while others are debilitated by a more aggressive form of the disease. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and antimalarial medications are used to treat milder cases, while more serious attacks are treated with immune system suppressing medications and corticosteroids. There has not been a new medication for the treatment of lupus in 50 years. Current treatments are not 100 percent effective, and can have side effects.

The anti-clotting medication Plavix is the second highest-selling drug in the world (behind the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor). It makes platelets less “sticky” and likely to clump together to form clots, which can lodge in the heart, lungs or brain and cause a heart attack or stroke. Anti-clotting drugs, also called blood thinners, are widely prescribed as a preventative measure for persons who have experienced a heart attack or stroke, or who suffer from heart disease or poor blood circulation due to hardened and narrowed arteries (atherosclerosis).

Being able to treat lupus patients with blood thinner pills could dramatically improve their quality of life, according to the researchers. Plavix can be expensive in the US, where it’s patented until 2012, but cheaper generic Plavix is available in Europe and from Canada.


Lupus Bible

Tags: ,

2 Comments on Lupus Anticoagulant Disorder Symptoms

  1. cortlin.harrison says:

    is this a good research project please be honest?
    Cortlin Harrison Science 10-12
    Mrs. Cooney/ Mrs. Barends ELA 21-23
    May 19, 2009
    Antiphospholipid Syndrome

    Antiphospholipid Syndrome is a disorder in which the body recognizes certain normal components of blood and/or cell membranes as foreign substances and produces antibodies against them. This disorder is non-infectious which means that this disorder can’t be passed from person to person by contact. Pregnant women are more prone to get this disorder than anyone else, and African Americans, and Hispanics but like other disorders anyone can get Antiphospholipid Syndrome

    The symptoms and characteristics of this disorder are not hard to spot. Some symptoms of the disorder are veins or arteries of the arms or legs may cause pain, numbness, tingling in the feet. Arteries of the heart may cause chest pain or heart attack, the individual with this disorder may have heart murmur. In pregnant women with Antiphospholipid Syndrome, miscarriage can occur prior to 20 week of gestation, while pre-eclampsia is reported to occur after that time. Blood vessels of the skin – may cause painful bruises (purpura) or a condition called livedo reticularis. Blood vessels of the brain – if a clot cuts off blood supply to a part of the brain, this causes a stroke. An individual with APS may also experience migraine headaches or seizures.

    There is no cure and there is no way to avoid getting this disorder. There are many treatments for this disorder. But the most successful treatment is anticoagulant therapy. This is usually successful in preventing further blood clots. This disorder can severely damage the body in many different ways because good cells attack other good cells and that causes chaos through the body. And when a weak or strong pathogen enters the body it can be deadly.

    Some other information about Antiphospholipid Syndrome is, 1-5% of the world population is known to have this disorder, and 40-50% of patients with lupus also have APS. One third of strokes occurring in younger people (under the age of 50) are due to Antiphospholipid Syndrome. One third of patients with Antiphospholipid Syndrome are said to have lupus, and or Raynaud disease. APS is more common in young to middle-aged adults; however, it also manifests in children and elderly people. Disease onset has been reported in children as young as 8 months.

    This disorder is very rare and not very deadly but this disorder can still affect your way of life, the way you think, and can make you dizzy and other things. My mom has this disorder and sometimes it’s hard to get around and such, but you can still fight back by eating a healthy diet and seeing a special doctor called a Rheumatologist, this doctor specializes in these types of rare disorders.

Leave a Reply

Current ye@r *

Social Widgets powered by AB-WebLog.com.