The causes of lupus are presently unknown. However, we do know that there is a genetic contribution to SLE. With the current explosion of knowledge in the field of human genetics, including the Human Genome Project, this is an ideal time to use genetics to increase our understanding of lupus. Evidence suggests that multiple genes may be involved. The complexity of the task is such that we need the help of very large numbers of lupus sufferers and their families.
In order to conduct genetic studies we need a single blood sample (~50mls) from patients with lupus. A single blood sample from at least one parent is also required. Samples from two parents are preferable, but one parent will suffice if there are brothers and/or sisters of the person with SLE available. Blood samples from brothers and sisters are helpful even if both parents are available for the study. We are not using blood samples from children of affected individuals at present. If multiple family members have SLE, the family is still eligible for the study.
We have DNA samples from approximately 300 families from all over the UK. In many cases we have collected blood samples using the postal service. We ask people to visit their general practitioners, or local hospitals and have a single blood sample taken. A stamped addressed package is provided that can be mailed back to us. We also ask family members to complete a simple health questionnaire. All information and results are treated in strictest confidence. For those who unable to go out for a blood sample we can arrange a visit and collect samples at home, if they wish.
If you would like to help in this important study, please contact Dr Vyse by telephone or email. Thank you for your valuable assistance.
Tim Vyse MA MRCP PhD
Senior Lecturer/Consultant Rheumatologist
Wellcome Trust Senior Clinical Fellow
Imperial College, Hammersmith Hospital
Du Cane Road,
London W12 0NN
Tel 020 8383 2339
To access the Hammersmith Hospital to find out more about the research, please follow these guides:
1. Go to this URL: http://www.hammersmithresearch.com.
2. Click on genes and cells (which will take you to: http://www.hammersmithresearch.com/Specialty/genes/genesandcells.htm).
3. Click on Human Lupus Genetics Study (http://www.hammersmithresearch.com/Specialty/genes/Articles/Gene_A18.htm).
While at http://www.hammersmithresearch.com/Specialty/genes/genesandcells.htm, you can access
Dr Tim Vyse's home page by following the link at the bottom which reads: Researchers Home Pages (http://www.hammersmithresearch.com/Researchers/RHP_NtoZ/Vyse_T/Vyse_T.htm).