Sjogren's Syndrome

Get Email Updates

Health Newsletter

Receive the latest and greatest in women's health and wellness from EmpowHER - for free!

Dry eyes and dry mouth may be the only symptoms of Sjogren's Syndrome, or this autoimmune disease may progress to become a devastating systemic illness. One of our members started a conversation about this condition last April. I checked the medical literature and found some promising news.

There are currently 46 clinical trials listed on the web site http://clinicaltrials.gov, 17 of which are seeking new volunteers. Two over-the-counter treatments are being tested:

1.DHEA, a hormone manufactured commercially from a precursor found in wild yams. In the body, DHEA is the starting material for the synthesis of estrogen, testosterone, and chemically similar hormones that are used by the immune system; and

2.Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), an omega-3 fatty acid found in cold water fatty fish, widely used for a variety of health conditions.

Drugs under investigation include the TNF blocker etanercept (Enbrel). This is a powerful immune suppressive drug which have shown both great benefits and serious adverse effects in treating other autoimmune conditions. See Reference 6. Cyclosporin A, the classic immunosuppressive drug for organ transplants, is also in trials for Sjogren's. Other drugs being tested are rituximab, mycophenolate, hydroxychloroquine, rebamipide, pilocarpine, anakinra, dexamethasone, azathioprine, and thalidomide (the infamous drug that caused birth defects in the 1950's).

Other therapies in clinical trials include mesenchymal stem cells from adult donors. Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) is already in use for some patients, and is being tested further in current trials.

Other research offers updates on diagnostic testing methods. Scanning laser microscopy has been reported to be valuable as a quantitative assessment tool. Another study reported that the standard lip biopsy is not necessary for most cases.

Periodontal (gum) disease was linked to Sjogren's syndrome in a report published Sept. 2. The authors examined the blood vessels in the gums of Sjogren's syndrome patients, and found distinctive changes in the capillaries, compared to those of healthy controls.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

Improved

1549 Health

Changed

572 Lives

Saved

427 Lives
2 lives impacted in the last 24 hrs Learn More

Take Our Featured Health Poll

Does the thought of doing your taxes stress you out?:
View Results