To find a cure
Sjogren's syndrome is an autoimmune disease. Autoimmune diseases are characterized by the abnormal production of extra antibodies in the blood that are directed against various tissues of the body. This particular autoimmune illness features inflammation in certain glands of the body. Inflammation of the glands that produce tears (lacrimal glands) leads to decreased water production for tears and eye dryness. Inflammation of the glands that produce the saliva in the mouth (salivary glands, including the parotid glands) leads to mouth dryness.
Sjogren's syndrome that only involves gland inflammation (resulting dry eyes and mouth, etc.), and is not associated with a connective tissue disease, is referred to as primary Sjogren's syndrome. Secondary Sjogren's syndrome involves not only gland inflammation, but is also associated with a connective tissue disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, or scleroderma.
What causes Sjogren's syndrome?
While the exact cause of Sjogren's syndrome is not known, there is growing scientific support for genetic (inherited) factors. The illness is sometimes found in other family members. It is also found more commonly in families that have members with other autoimmune illnesses, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, autoimmune thyroid disease, juvenile diabetes, etc. 90% of patients with Sjogren's syndrome are female.
1. We need to find a cure