New study examines antibody's link to Sjogren's

Upcoming research from the University at Buffalo (UB) will study the possible link between IgM, a supposedly protective type of antibody, to Sjögren's syndrome and other autoimmune diseases.

Sjögren's syndrome affects more than 1 million Americans, 90% of whom are women, according to a release. It is an incurable autoimmune disorder that often leads to dental problems because of dry mouth. Patients also often experience difficulty swallowing and talking.

The study, led by Jill Kramer, DDS, PhD, an assistant professor in the UB School of Dental Medicine, will use new approaches to identify the types of antibodies responsible for Sjögren's syndrome.

"It is important we understand why the disease occurs and develop new ways to prevent the immune system from attacking healthy tissue," Dr. Kramer stated in a UB press release.

In her upcoming study, Dr. Kramer will administer IgM to mice that lack the ability to produce their own antibodies. She will then examine whether the mice develop symptoms of Sjögren's syndrome, a sign that the class of antibody may in fact be pathogenic.

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