World Lupus Day is usually celebrated on the10th of May. The World Lupus Day was started eight years ago as a call to action to increase the awareness of the disease at the international governmental level. In America, Lupus Foundation of America has been at the forefront in creating awareness and campaigns of the disease.
Lupus or Lupus Erythematosus is a chronic inflammatory disease that is a result of attack of the body and organs tissues by the immune system.
Lupus history can be divided into three periods:
- The classical period
- Neoclassical period
- Modern period
The classical period described the cutaneous disorder, the neoclassical period described the systemic and the disseminated manifestation of lupus and the modern period described the discovery of Lupus Erythematosus (LE) in 1948.
The history of Lupus during the classical period was reviewed by Cyr and Smith in 1988. A number of things were derived during this period including the term lupus, the clinical description of the cutaneous lesion of lupus vulgaris, discoid lupus, lupus profundus and the photosensitive nature of butterfly rash.
Lupus is a Latin word meaning wolf and the word is attributed to a thirteenth century physician called Rogerius who used it to describe the erosive facial lesions that looked like wolf bite.
The classical description of several dermatologic features of lupus were made by Thomas Bateman who was a student of a British dermatologist called Robert Willian in the early nineteenth century, Moritz Kaposi, a student and son-in-law of Austrian dermatologist by the name Ferdinand von Hebra and Cazenave, a student of a French dermatologist Laurent Biett.
The lesions are not described as discoid lupus and were described by Cazenave in 1833 when the term ‘erythema centrifugum’ and the butterfly rash were discovered by von Hebra in 1846.
The first ever published illustration of lupus erythematosus were included in the Atlas of Skin Disease in the von Hobra’s text which was published in 1856.
The neoclassical period of history of lupus started in 1872 and Kaposi described the systemic nature of the disorder Kaposi and that there are two types of lupus erythematosus. There are:
- The disseminated form
- The discoid form
Kaposi also mentioned various symptoms that characterize disseminated form. These include:
- Arthritis with synovial hypertrophy of both large and small joints
- Weight loss
- Involvement of the Central Nervous System
- Subcutaneous nodules
The work of Osler in Baltimore and Jadassohn in Vienna in 1904 firmly established the existence of disseminated form of lupus. In the next thirty years, pathologic studies researched on the existence of non bacterial verucous endocarditis also known as Libman-Sacks disease and the wire-loop lesion in people with glomerulonephritis. The observation during the autopsy led to the construction of collagen disease which has suggested by Kemperer and colleagues in 1941.
The discovery of LE cell by Hargraves and colleagues in 1948 marked the modern era of history of lupus. It was observed that the LE cells in the bone marrow of individuals with acute disseminated lupus erythematosus and found out that the cells is a result of phagocytosis of the free nuclear material with a resulting round vacuole which contains partially digested and lysed nuclear material. It was this discovery that resulted to the present application of immunology to study systemic lupus erythematosus. This enabled the diagnosis of people with milder form of lupus.
- Immunofluorescent test for antinuclear antibodies
- The biologic false positive test for syphilis
Other major advances in the modern era of lupus have been the development of animal models of lupus and recognition of the genetic predisposition role to the development of lupus.
The Lupus Foundation of America has been at the forefront in creating awareness about lupus.
The Lupus Foundation of America has nearly 300 chapters and support groups nationwide. Other organizations and charities that support the lupus awareness in America include Alzheimer’s Association, Back on my feet, Born This Way Foundation, America Foundation for AIDS Research, Artist for Peace and Justice, Book Aid International, The Trevor Project, Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation and many others.
Several celebrities and people have come out to support lupus awareness in America some of these people include Julian Lennon; a Global Ambassador for lupus, Lady Gaga, Daniel Radcliffe, Mercedes Scelba, Natalie Modes, Tomiko, Whoopi Goldberg and Nicki Cannon.
World Lupus Day is associated with color purple and you can show support by wearing purple clothes or buying special wrist band with a phrase ‘Help Us Save the Cruel Mystery’.
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 Fitzpatrick, Thomas B.; Klauss Wolff; Wolff, Klaus Dieter; Johnson, Richard R.; Suurmond, Dick; Richard Suurmond (2005). Fitzpatrick's color atlas and synopsis of clinical dermatology. New York: McGraw-Hill Medical Pub. Division. ISBN 0-07-144019-4
 Merrill JT, Ginzler EM, Wallace DJ, et al. Long-term safety profile of belimumab plus standard therapy in patients with systemic lupus s. Arthritis Rheum 2012; Jun 5 [E-pub ahead of print].
 Oriel JD. Moritz Kaposi (1837–1902). Int J STD AIDS. 1997 Nov;8(11):715-7. Medline abstract