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Antibody Research May Aid in Treatment of Sjogren's Syndrome , Fibromyalgia (FM), and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

  [ 87 votes ]   [ Discuss This Article ] • August 1, 2000

A possible link between the symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome (SS) and an antibody in the blood that interferes with nerve transmission has been identified by medical researchers in Adelaide, South Australia.

SS, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis are all autoimmune disorders that can cause severe pain and fatigue, in addition to many other symptoms. An earlier study compared patients with CFS, FM, MS, and lupus and revealed that these illnesses might be similar, if not identical, conditions.

In the current study, published this week in the international journal Arthritis and Rheumatism, Dr. Maureen Rischmueller said, "Sjogren's syndrome is a common autoimmune rheumatic disease affecting up to one percent of the population, predominantly women.

"It is typified by severe dryness of the eyes and mouth with accelerated dental caries, often in association with fatigue, muscle and joint pains, swollen glands and other widespread complaints."

Results indicate that antibodies that bind to the receptors of small nerve endings found in glandular structures and other organs have the effect of blocking transmission through these nerves.

Researchers hope to obtain major funding to continue their work into this debilitating illness, the results of which will also aid in the understanding and treatment of other autoimmune diseases such as FM and CFS.

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