Episode summary introduction: In honor of National Scleroderma Awareness Month this episode will be on scleroderma. We will cover everything from what Scleroderma is to treatment options and research. As always our goal is to educate, inform and start conversation.
Topic 1: Scleroderma (sklair-oh-DUR-muh) is a systemic chronic connective tissue disease that involves the hardening and tightening of the skin and connective tissues. Generally classified as one of the autoimmune rheumatic diseases.
Topic 2: Causes of scleroderma remain unknown. Abnormal antibodies such as ANA, anticentromere, and anti-Scl-70 antibodies are characteristic in SSc. In addition to skin, the most commonly affected organs are lung and kidney. Three major disease subsets are recognized based on the extent of skin disease. Three major disease subsets are recognized based on the extent of skin disease. CREST syndrome, Diffuse disease and Localized disease. Topic 3: Signs and Symptoms are based on affected areas: Skin changes, finger and toes, GI tract, kidneys, heart and lungs. There is no drug that has been clearly proven to stop, or reverse the disease, only treatment of symptoms. With new research, CCL2 is a significant predictor of ILD, with higher CCL2 levels forecasting a faster decline in pulmonary function but giving hope in earlier diagnosis and treatment options.
Outro: Although there is no cure for scleroderma, symptoms can be treated. Bringing awareness to different diseases is important since early intervention, no matter what the illness is, can give patients better quality of life.
Additional Resources Mentioned:
Call to action:
Scleroderma Foundation, Greater Washington DC Chapter
Contact: Elizabeth Theisen