Modified red blood cells could reduce symptoms and onset of autoimmune diseases – early new findings

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red blood cells, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, arthritis information, arthritis digest, arthritis magazineA new way of treating autoimmune diseases, by modifying the functions of red blood cells, is being developed by scientists, they report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

A team has been able to use red blood cells modified to carry tailored antigens to alleviate signs of multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes in mice.

It is hoped that one day the method could help tackle existing symptoms of conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis (and even prevent symptoms from developing) through a single injection before the onset of disease.

“This is a very promising step in the development of therapies for autoimmune diseases,” says Harvey Lodish who is involved in the research. “If this type of response is also true in humans, then it could make a lot of these therapies possible for these diseases and similar conditions.”

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