What is lupus?

How does the disease develop?

Lupus is a very particular disorder of the immune system. The abnormal activity of our body's defence cells can lead to self-aggression that can reach many organs including the skin, joints, kidney, heart, and/or brain. This self-aggression is called "autoimmune" because it is a reaction of immunity cells against the host organism's own constituents.

This "autoimmune" reaction is orchestrated by abnormalities, such as the production of interferon alpha which is a cytokine involved in lupus and other autoimmune diseases.


How common is this disease?

This disease affects nearly one in 2000 people, especially women (females represent 90% of the cases). Systemic lupus is very rare in children before the age of 16 and accounts for only 5-10% of all systemic lupus.


Why can lupus be different from patient to patient?

The overactivity of the immune system produced by lupus is the result of a multitude of causes. As a result, the expression of the disease is different for each individual. It can be exclusively cutaneous (without risk to a vital organ), or more diffuse and more severe. In the absence of treatment, the latter form can sometimes lead to kidney, cardiac or neurological damage. This great diversity in the disease leads to a management and treatment of lupus adapted to each patient.


Lupus is an autoimmune disease that preferentially affects the skin and joints, but can reach the kidney, heart and more rarely the brain.

The immune mechanisms of this condition, which mainly affects women, are complex.

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