HISTORY OF LUPUS:
The history of lupus erythematosus (LE) has been reviewed in two of the major textbooks on this disease, and was the subject of an article in a journal in 1983. This article concentrates on developments in the present century which have greatly expanded our knowledge about the pathophysiology, clinical-laboratory features, and treatment of this disorder. The history of lupus can be divided into three periods: the classical period which saw the description of the cutaneous disorder, the neoclassical period which saw the description of the systemic or disseminated manifestations of lupus, and the modern period which was heralded by the discovery of the LE cell in 1948 and is characterized by the scientific advances noted above. The history of lupus during the classical period was reviewed by Smith and Cyr in 1988. The derivation of the term lupus and the clinical descriptions of the cutaneous lesions of lupus vulgaris, lupus profundus, discoid lupus, and the photosensitive nature of the malar or butterfly rash. The term lupus (Latin for wolf) is attributed to the thirteenth century physician Rogerius who used it to describe erosive facial lesions that were reminiscent of a wolf's bite. Classical descriptions of the various dermatologic features of lupus were made by Thomas Bateman, a student of the British dermatologist Robert William, in the early nineteenth century; Cazenave, a student of the French dermatologist Laurent Biett, in the mid-nineteenth century; and Moriz Kaposi (born Moriz Kohn), student and son-in-law of the Austrian dermatologist Ferdinand von Hebra, in the late nineteenth century. The lesions now referred to as discoid lupus were described in 1833 by Cazenave under the term "erythema centrifugum," while the butterfly distribution of the facial rash was noted by von Hebra in 1846. The first published illustrations of lupus erythematosus were included in von Hebra's text, Atlas of Skin Diseases, published in 1856.
Lupus is a chronic, autoimmune disease that can damage any part of the body like skin, joints, and organs inside the body. In lupus, something goes wrong with your immune system, which is the part of the body that fights off viruses, bacteria, and germs ("foreign invaders," like the flu). Normally our immune system produces proteins called antibodies that protect the body from these invaders. Autoimmune means your immune system cannot tell the difference between these foreign invaders and your body’s healthy tissues and creates auto antibodies that attack and destroy healthy tissue. These auto antibodies cause inflammation, pain, and damage in various parts of the body. Lupus is also a disease of flares (the symptoms worsen and you feel ill) and remissions (the symptoms improve and you feel better). Lupus can range from mild to life-threatening and should always be treated by a doctor. With good medical care, most people with lupus can lead a full life. Lupus is not contagious, not even through sexual contact. You cannot "catch" lupus from someone or "give" lupus to someone. Lupus is not like or related to cancer. Cancer is a condition of malignant, abnormal tissues that grow rapidly and spread into surrounding tissues. Lupus is an autoimmune disease, as described above. Lupus is not like or related to HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) or AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome). In HIV or AIDS the immune system is underactive; in lupus, the immune system is overactive. Our research estimates that at least 1.5 million Americans have lupus. The actual number may be higher; however, there have been no large-scale studies to show the actual number of people in the U.S. living with lupus. It is believed that 5 million people throughout the world have a form of lupus. Lupus strikes mostly women of childbearing age (15-44). However, men, children, and teenagers develop lupus, too. Women of color are 2-3 times more likely to develop lupus. People of all races and...
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