From its discovery to the present
day, scientists have learned a great deal about the complexities of this disease.
Although references to this condition have been noted even in medieval times,
perhaps the first comprehensive description of the disease was advanced by Pierre
Cazenave in the mid 1800s. The name “lupus” is Latin for wolf, because
patients often get a "wolf-bite like" malar rash
on their face. (Some people call this a "butterfly rash".) In
the 1950s, antinuclear antibodies associated with lupus were
discovered. Antinuclear antibodies are triggers that cause an autoimmune
attack of self tissues by the immune system. Studies in murine
(mouse) models over the past 40 years have helped us to understand lupus better.
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This page was last modified 3/17/03
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