Contemplative Intervention for People Living with Lupus



Contemplative Intervention for People Living with Lupus

In this time of increased awareness of health disparities, UVA School of Medicine and Health System has some innovative research for a largely ignored patient population – patients diagnosed with system lupus erythematosus, commonly known as lupus.
Lupus is a potentially devastating autoimmune disorder for which there is no cure. There has been little progress in development of treatments in several decades and this patient population has been largely overlooked in clinical research arenas.
Lupus, which disproportionately affects women of color, has always been an evasive target for researchers. The FDA approval of the drug Benlystia in 2011 marked the first time in 50 years a new drug had been approved to fight the disease, and not much progress has been made in alleviating symptoms for patients with lupus since that time.
This is why researchers at UVA with funding from the Alliance for Lupus Research (ALR) have developed a new nonpharmacological approach to treating symptoms of lupus and potentially impacting biological markers in the process. We have developed an innovative and potentially powerful intervention to not only help improve the symptoms of lupus, such as pain, fatigue, frustration, depression, but also positively change the biological components that underlie such symptoms, such as the functioning of the immune system.
The study to explore the impact of this intervention is now underway and researchers are actively recruiting participants. The results of this ground breaking study may finally result in forward progress in the area of effective treatment for people living with lupus. Such progress is one small step towards bridging the health disparity gap and providing additional effective treatments for those suffering in our society.

Key People:  J. Kim Penberthy, James Coan, David Germano and Leslie Hubbard