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Persons recently diagnosed with Lupus are invited to attend the Annual Seminar for Newly Diagnosed Lupus Patients to be held this Sunday, September 18, at the Amaryllis Beach Resort, Hastings, Christ Church, at 8:00 a.m.

The event, which runs until 1:00 p.m., will provide an opportunity for these individuals and their family members to gain useful information in an informal setting. It will also allow them to share their experiences and have fears addressed by facilitators, some of whom work with these cases in government health care institutions.

The topics to be explored are: What is Lupus and Preventing Infections in Lupus by Consultant Rheumatologist at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and Chairman of the Pain Management Committee, Dr. Cindy Flower; Diabetes and Thyroid Disease in Lupus by Endocrinologist and Chairman of the Barbados Drug Formulary, Dr. Colette George; Joint Pains in Lupus by Senior Physiotherapist at the QEH, Gerry Warner; Lupus and the Kidney – Managing the Disease, Treatment and Dialysis by Nephrologist,?? Dr. George Nicholson; and Skin and Hair Involvement in Lupus by Dermatologist, Dr. Michele Callender.

There will also be a presentation aimed at helping the newly-diagnosed patient to adjust to their illness. This will be facilitated by Internist, Dr. Irvin Branker and will be titled: Living Well and Coping with Lupus.

Lupus is a chronic disorder of the immune system that causes inflammation of various parts of the body. People with the illness have immune system abnormalities. It can be mild, affecting only a few body organs, or it may cause more serious and even life-threatening problems. Additionally, it can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, heart, nervous system, blood and/or other body organs or systems.

To date, the Barbados Lupus Registry, under the leadership of Professor Anselm Hennis and Dr. Flower, has pointed to some 307 active cases of Lupus on the island and has indicated that the incidence of the illness here is the second highest in the world, with Barbados second only to Italy. The research has also found that, on average, 24 patients here are diagnosed yearly with the illness.

The Barbados Lupus Registry is a project being jointly undertaken by the Chronic Disease Research Centre of the University of the West Indies, the QEH; the Harvard School of Medicine; the University of Alabama and the National Institutes of Health, USA. For further information on the upcoming seminar, contact the Hope Foundation at 437-8781.


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