What is Sjögren’s syndrome, and how does it affect you?
Sjögren’s syndrome is an autoimmune illness that causes glands in the eyes and lips to generate less moisture.
It’s named after Henrik Sjögren, a Swedish ophthalmologist who was the first to identify the disease.
While dry mouth and eyes are the most common symptoms, the majority of people who have these issues do not have Sjögren’s disease.
Xerostomia is the medical term for dry mouth.
Sjögren’s syndrome is divided into two types:
- Sjögren’s syndrome is a disorder that develops on its own, not as a result of another illness.
- Other autoimmune illnesses such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and psoriatic arthritis can cause secondary Sjögren’s syndrome.
Sjögren’s syndrome manifests itself in a variety of ways.
Certain patients have muscle and joint pain all over their bodies, comparable to fibromyalgia, in addition to very dry eyes and lips.
Other signs and symptoms include:
- A peculiar sense of taste.
- Grittiness, burning, or redness in the eyes (like sand).
- Vision is hazy.
- Chewing, swallowing, or speaking difficulties.
- Hoarseness or a dry cough
- Itchy, dry skin.
- Salivary glands that have grown in size.
- Tooth deterioration or tooth loss at an early age.
- Dryness in the vaginal area
Sjögren’s syndrome is diagnosed in one of two ways
Scientists have conducted clinical studies of a variety of therapies for PSS in recent years, but none of them have been effective and there is currently no authorized medication for PSS.
The variety of PSS patients might be one cause for clinical trial failures; some therapies may work for specific subgroups of patients.
The problem is identifying these subgroups and matching them with medical interventions.
Your physician may apply these procedures to corroborate a diagnosis if you have dry mouth, dry eyes, or other indications of Sjögren’s syndrome:
- Tests of the blood: These tests look for particular antibodies in the blood.
- Anti-nuclear antibodies (ANA)
- Anti-syndrome Sjögren’s antibodies (anti-SSA, also known as anti-Ro)
- Anti-syndrome Sjögren’s type B antibodies are all tested (anti-SSB, also called anti-La).
- Rheumatoid factor, an antibody present in many patients with rheumatoid arthritis, may also be detected by a blood test.
- A salivary gland or the inside of your lip may be biopsied to get tissue or cells.
- This biopsy sample is sent to a lab for analysis to see whether there are any symptoms of inflammation.
- Tear production can be measured by an eye expert, such as an ophthalmologist.
- During an eye exam, your doctor will check for dryness on the cornea, the transparent portion of the eye.
- Imaging diagnostics comprise sialometry, which uses X-rays to view dye put into salivary glands to determine how much saliva you make.
- Salivary scintigraphy, for example, is a method of measuring the time it takes a radioactive isotope to transit from an injection site in your vein to your salivary glands.
- Your therapist may infer that you have secondary Sjögren’s syndrome if you have a pre-existing autoimmune illness, as well as dry eyes and mouth.
Manifestation by the health clinic
According to Nature Communications, there might be four subgroups of PSS sufferers.
IMI backed the results with the PRECISESADS initiative, which aimed to establish new categorization for a variety of autoimmune diseases, including PSS.
Experts examined comprehensive molecular profiles from samples taken from over 300 PSS patients to profiles from 330 healthy participants in the research.
The research found four different clusters of PSS patients, as well as biological indicators (biomarkers) that may be used to determine a patient’s subgroup.
Furthermore researchers demonstrated how machine learning may be used to categorize sufferers.
The crew also makes recommendations for which types of therapies would be most successful for the various subgroups, thereby paving the road for even more individualized PSS treatments.
The researchers write,
‘These findings have significant ramifications for the management of PSS sufferers,’
‘Providing a justification for both optimum drug placement and combos of medicines with complementary modes of action.’
Interventions to enhance standard of living, pharmacological and non-pharmacological therapies to keep disease activity in control.
Further management of the risk of lymphoma are the major considerations in the multidisciplinary diagnosis of sick people with Sjögren’s illness.
The disease’s heterogeneity must be taken into consideration in future treatment efforts.
‘Overall, our findings can strengthen PSS therapeutic modalities by providing a patient-centered perspective,’ they draw the conclusion.
This approach, which has previously been adopted in the field of cancer, will enhance the likelihood of experimental achievement and accelerate the discovery of new effective anti-PSS medicines.’