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Carol Eustice

Earlier Diagnosis of Sjogren's Syndrome Possible With Discovery of New Antibodies

By December 14, 2012

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The discovery of new antibodies will allow patients with Sjogren's syndrome to be diagnosed and treated earlier, according to a report published in the December issue of Clinical Immunology. Typically, patients go to the doctor with symptoms of dry eyes, dry mouth, or difficulty swallowing -- but that can be beyond the point where treatment is helpful.

Researchers from the University at Buffalo and Immco Diagnostics, Inc. discovered the new antibodies associated with Sjogren's syndrome -- antibodies to salivary gland protein 1 (SP-1), carbonic anhydrase 6 (CA6) and parotid secretory protein (PSP). Researchers first identified the antibodies in mice and later confirmed the presence of the same antibodies in humans with Sjogren's syndrome. The new antibodies have been found in 45% of patients who met clinical criteria for Sjogren's syndrome, other than the presence of antibodies Ro and La (current antibodies associated with Sjogren's syndrome that appear late in the disease). One of the new antibodies was found in 76% of Sjogren's syndrome patients who had symptoms for less than two years and lacked Ro and La.

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