A talk by Dr. James Gray, honorary research fellow from Australia, specialising in Rheumatology at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.
James began by giving a broad picture of Sjogrens trying to make it less technical to understand. The British Society of Rheumatology now has a
definition of Sjogrens – written for medical students but interesting.
James talked about the causes of Sjogrens which are still mainly unclear.
- Whether it is a primary or secondary illness.
- It can develop quite differently in different people, being more or less serious symptoms.
- Does a rise in anti bodies cause Sjogrens or is it something else, an infection or disease, which causes the rise in antibodies to cause
- Is it genetically disposed? A virus that then becomes a permanent disease.
- White blood cells attack the salivary glands – but the more modern theory is ‘why do they’ Maybe the glands make the attack?
- James went on to say that although Sjogrens patients has many more Ro & La antibodies he promoted the idea that this may not be too relevant or cause any
damage. He did go onto suggest that there is a theory that the damaged B cells may go onto cause more serious problems in the future, ie lymphoma.
- Aids to help with dry eyes are essential to help with hygiene and actual sight.
- There was some discussion on how the medical profession could take needs of Sjogrens sufferers forward.
- It was suggested that an immunologist could oversee all Sjogrens symptoms at Addenbrookes rather than different patient seeing different people.
- Many of those present felt they had little amount of support from the medical profession.
- There will only be small steps forward!!