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Discovery of Antibody May Benefit Peripheral Neuropathy Patients with Sjogren’s Syndrome

For sufferers of Sjogren's Syndrome, the pain and discomfort caused by this autoimmune disorder are bad enough without the secondary complications the illness causes. Sjogren's Syndrome affects the body's mucous membranes and is frequently categorized by dry eyes and dry mouth. The illness usually develops in conjunction with diseases like lupus and rheumatoid arthritis and, though it is not known why, it is more common in women than in men.

But while Sjogren's is most commonly known for its uncomfortable effects on the mucous membranes, it often causes another problem that can be equally - if not more - uncomfortable: peripheral neuropathy. Peripheral neuropathy is damage to the nervous system, which can cause everything from pain to tingling to numbness in the arms, legs, hands and feet. Until recently, little was known about the connection between peripheral neuropathy and Sjogren's Syndrome, but new research has revealed a surprising link in the form of a newly discovered antibody.

Dr. Nathan Weller is a peripheral neuropathy specialist in Scottsdale, Arizona. His practice is dedicated to helping patients with peripheral neuropathy.

"What researchers have found is a specific autoantibody that appears to be closely associated with the peripheral neuropathy that we frequently see with Sjogren's Syndrome patients," says Weller.

During the study, researchers found these autoantibodies, which target the nerve cells in the dorsal root ganglia, or DRG. The DRG are peripheral sensory nerve cells that communicate feeling back to the brain and spine. After examining blood samples from patients with Sjogren's Syndrome, researchers discovered these autoantibodies called calponin-3. Unfortunately, what they also discovered was that these autoantibodies weren't where they were supposed to be.

"What they realized when they looked closer at Calponin-3 is that not only is it not present in DRG nerve cells as they suspected, but it was also located in the satellite glial cells surrounding the DRG nerve cells, possibly causing the peripheral neuropathy," Weller says.

Researchers will now further examine the link between Sjogren's Syndrome, Calponin-3 and peripheral neuropathy, and hopefully determine what, if anything, can be done to stop this debilitating condition from affecting Sjogren's patients.

For now, Weller says patients suffering from peripheral neuropathy still have options to treat the pain, such as light therapy, stem cell therapy and electronic therapy - all of which he offers in his practice. For more information or to make an appointment for a consultation, call Restore Wellness Center at 480-751-1629.

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Monday, 20 May 2019

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