a special program of the National Emergency Medicine Association (NEMA)

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Week: 594.5 

Guest: Dr. Michele Petri, head of Lupus Center, Johns Hopkins 

Topic: New studies on lupus

Host/Producer: Steve Girard 

NEMA: DHEA and Lupus...coming up 

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NEMA: Lupus is a disease that strikes mainly women...in great numbers...and one of the studies underway involves using a natural hormone you know as DHEA to stop the body from attacking itself...Dr. Michele Petri of Johns Hopkins Hospital...  

PETRI: The reason there’s interest in lupus, is the women who have lupus have very low levels of DHEA, and these low levels may be contributing to abnormalities in their immune systems...especially in their creation of cytokines, which are messengers in the immune system. There is a national, multi-center trial underway of DHEA...to determine if it helps disease activity. It appeared to be very promising in small, initial trials that were done at Stanford University in California, and in addition to helping disease activity in lupus in those trials, DHEA also appeared to prevent some of the complications of pregnizone...especially osteoporosis. So I think many patients are hopeful that the DHEA trial will prove that this drug is beneficial to patients, because DHEA is very safe.  

NEMA: Pregnizone is used suppress the immune system...but can have heavy side effects. I’m Steve Girard at The Heart of the Matter.