Lupus is an autoimmune disorder, meaning that the body’s own immune system can harm healthy cells and tissues. This disorder can affect many body parts, including the joints, skin, kidneys, heart, blood vessels, lungs, and brain. Lupus patients can experience periods of wellness (remissions) and periods of active disease (flares). Permanent organ damage may result from both flares and the side effects of treatments. The causes of lupus are unknown.
The University of Michigan lupus research group is dedicated to learning more about what causes lupus, how flares can be reduced or prevented, how to predict disease progression and activity, and how to prevent permanent organ damage. Finding new prevention and treatment strategies is dependent on learning more about the development of and risk factors for lupus.