Researchers have discovered an exciting new way to identify the best treatments for autoimmune diseases

Woman with arthritis gripping wrist

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if you have one autoimmune disease Your immune system attacks cells in your body. There are different types of autoimmune diseases that can affect your health, including rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis. Although researchers can usually diagnose these diseases fairly easily, finding the best individualized treatments is still a challenge.

However, there is new hope for people suffering from an autoimmune disease. in one new studyscientists out Garvan Institute of Medical Research in Darlinghurst, Australia, report that using people’s individual immune cell fingerprints can determine the exact treatment of their autoimmune diseases.

“We analyzed the genome profile of over a million cells from 1,000 people to identify a fingerprint that links genetic markers to diseases such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, type 1 diabetes, spondylitis, inflammatory bowel disease and others Crohn’s diseasesaid Professor Joseph Powell, joint lead author at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research. “We were able to do this using single-cell sequencing, a new technology that allows us to detect subtle changes in individual cells.”

Related: Taking vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acid supplements might lower your risk of developing an autoimmune disease

These findings, the largest on the subject to date, are helpful in giving people specific treatments for their needs and helping scientists develop new drugs for autoimmune diseases. In the past, researchers have found that some treatments work well for some patients and not for others. “Some autoimmune diseases can be notoriously difficult to treat,” Professor Powell said. “Due to the complexity of our immune systems and the wide variation between individuals, we currently don’t have a good understanding of why a treatment works well for some people but not for others.”

Overall, the team found the link between people’s specific genes and types of immune cells linked to a person’s autoimmune disease, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel disease, type 1 diabetes and Crohn’s disease. This means that a person’s individual genetic makeup could be used as a source to find out what is required for their care immune system.

“Very rarely genetic diseases are like a bad car crash in the body – they are generally easy to identify and locate where they occur in the genome. But immune disorders are often more akin to traffic congestion, where genetic changes that slow down traffic are harder to pinpoint. This study helped us identify trouble spots,” said Professor Alex Hewitt, co-lead author and clinical researcher at the University of Tasmania’s Menzies Institute for Medical Research – populations with immune disorders who can then refine clinical trials to assess drug efficacy evaluate.”

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