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Researchers Find Potential Biomarker to Aid Lupus Diagnosis and Treatment

by | Oct 13, 2022

New research out of Egypt reveals that the protein known as high‐mobility group box 1 protein (HMGB1) may be helpful in diagnosing lupus, planning treatment, and predicting lupus nephritis (LN, lupus-related kidney disease). This protein can activate the immune system and promote inflammation, and this is the first known study to explore the link between HMGB1 and lupus and LN.

Researchers assessed clinical data and disease activity levels in 120 Egyptian individuals with lupus and 120 people without the disease. They found people with lupus had significantly higher levels of HMGB1 in both their blood and urine. Additionally, specific HMGB1 gene variations were associated with 3.5-fold higher odds of having LN.

Diagnosing lupus can be challenging, and identifying it earlier in the disease process, as well as understanding individual LN risk, can help inform treatment plans and potentially lead to improved health outcomes. The latest findings suggest HMGB1 may be a useful biomarker for lupus diagnosis and the assessment of LN risk in the Egyptian population, and further research is needed.

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