It has long been suggested that for Sjogrens to develop there needs to be a genetic predisposition and a "trigger" that causes the immiune system to malfunction.
Several organisms have been postulated but no direct evidence has been found.
A new paper from Western Australia suggests for the first time an organism that in lab tests can trigger a malfunction of the immune system in mice to give Sjogrens like symptoms.
A review can be seen here http://www.asianscientist.com/2014/10/in-the-lab/common-cytomegalovirus-linked-autoimmunity/
The actual paper is linked at the end of this review but it is a close publication for whch membership is needed so one can only see an abstract.
It is "heavy" science but some may be interested.
My own comments are :
It doesn't explain why more women than men are affected and doesn't evaluate the role of stress in damaging the immune system and being at least in part another trigger os AI diseases in my opinion.
It is interesteing however that the CMV is a member of the herpes family and herpes viruses never are cleared by the body and become active again when the immune system is compromised ofetn by stress.
Chronic stress amongst other things causes high levels of cytokines to be produced and these are one of the main chemical messengers of the immune response.
I suspect it is more complex than this paper describes and is a multi factorial trigger with probably more than one genetic mutation that gives the risk of AI developing.
Kaz have you looked at this?
Also Kaz I got a reply eventually from Flinders it was very poor just a comment that Prof Tom Gordon was no longer clinically involved and didn't respond to questions about their trials on auto anti bodies to M3 as I had asked for data on.
Perhaps you as a local can get a better response as this is still the most promising area of research in Sjogrens other than Chinese stem cell therapy - but they don't answer emails either! Even when my consultants write to them :(
Assybish, thank you so much for finding and posting this! This is really interesting and exciting news. I read the article that was in your link, but I haven't tried to read through the actual paper yet. As you said, it is a bit heavy science, and I would have to take more time with it. But I'm going to print the article and give copies to my primary doctor and my rheumatologist.
It makes me wonder...I remember in December, 2007 I caught a really bad flu. It was the sickest I remember ever being in my life. I should have gone to a doctor, but I just didn't feel like going. To this day, I still don't know what it was. Sometimes I wonder if I might have had the H1N1 virus. Now I'm starting to wonder if whatever sickness I had, maybe it was what caused an autoimmune disease to get triggered in me? I wonder if I could have had some kind of genetic predisposition to it, and maybe it was dormant for years and then that's what "activated" it? If I think about it now, I started getting some really subtle symptoms a year or two after that. Like my skin started getting really dry and my joints started hurting. I just assumed I was taking too many showers, and even though I'm young I figured the joint pain was because I was going on power walks every night. (Jogging on hard streets and concrete sidewalks for miles every night isn't the best for your joints for anyone). But it wasn't until around late 2012 and 2013 that I started to really notice that something was wrong. And then of course, this whole year I got really bad.
I'm glad that someone is doing research on this, and maybe they will finally start to find some answers.
I too got very sick I would say slightly over a year before diagnosis. Although I’m not sure, I’m almost certain it was food poisoning. I had eaten at a restaurant and the next day felt sickly and then got diarrhea. I got on a helpful antibiotic, but the diarrhea would not let up and I was sick like that for maybe eight days. At some point I got on a second med, one for diarrhea, and it was better, but I was still sickly. It took a good ten days before I was half way ok. Right about this time, I was also under lots of stress. Not too long after that, perhaps the worst stress of my entire life. AND I started noticing I was thirsty all the time. Then, I got my dx. Just, one thing after another. After my diagnosis, one of my doctors tested me for CMV. This was about a year or more after that weird Food poisoning incident. It was positive, but it was determined it was an old exposure. I had never been tested before. The last few years have been nightmarish…but I have been eating in a very healthy manner and pushing myself to think healthy thoughts…working very hard to come out of this mess and enjoy better health. One of my doctors told me the CMV virus is very common. I think there might be something to this research. Thank you. I believe strongly in doing what we can to stay healthy and strong.
Thank you for this. I very recently had a Silent Stroke and plan this week to start seeing a Neurologist who has done research about the connectivity between AI disease and neurological problems. He was recommended (at my request) by my fantastic Neurosurgeon who removed a tumor (schwannoma) which was pressing against my spinal cord and causing extreme pain. The Shwann ‘thing’ is part of a nerve cell. Intuitively, I think Sjögrens is connected to my neurological issues and I hope to be given some insight into how to avoid any additional damage to my brain and other neurological symtoms.
I will share this research with my new doctor. Again, many thanks.
This makes me also wonder about Chicken Pox, the Chicken Pox vaccine, and Shingles. I did not have the Chicken Pox vaccine. My mom said I was exposed to Chicken Pox when I was still a baby, and ended up with only about four Chicken Pox. However, I got Shingles when I was about 9, which although not unheard of, I don't think kids get Shingles much. And of course Chicken Pox and Shingles are from the Herpes virus.
Thanks Assybish, good info!
Many of us have often wondered if an underlying/undetected/untreated bacteria or virus was at least partially to blame for the onset. Like my mother and her mother, I was plagued by 'fever blisters' until I discovered that probiotics will help to at least lessen the frequency and severity of outbreak.
I know when I was researching the tarlov spinal cysts, it was mentioned in every article that these worsened with herpes/herpes flares. The causes were unknown, though linked to trauma and connective tissue diseases such as Sjogren's.
I know there are different types of herpes, but no total cure for any!
Sorry to hear about the stroke. You are so health conscious to have gone through this on top of everything else. I do hope that you are doing better, and can get the good care you deserve!
Thanks SK! I fogot to mention that my brother and several nephews have several SD related issues …mostly dry mouth causing canker sores. One nephew is now considered okay after treatment at the Huntsman Center for lymphoma. He also has the dry mouth business. My sister has rheumatoid arthritis. I don’t mean to sound judgemental, but many in our family think her brain has problems. My mom, who was quite bright …a professor of nursing, died at 81 with complications related to Alzheimr’s Disease. She was actually diagnosed at the Mayo Clinic. I think she also had lympedema …which I have. This is just to illustrate the very probable genetic aspect of my SD. I am incredibly blessed with great docs and close friends in the medical field who came together in an ‘intervention’ three weeks ago persuading me to get examined ASAP because of pretty slight signs that I was not as sharp as usual. God is so good to me!
This is really interesting. I had shingles twice in my 20's....which is very unusual for getting it that early, and then getting it twice. I'm going to ask my doctor when I go in this month about the correlation.
I also had mono as a child!
I have a chiari malformation, which is a neurological condition. I think it's all connected.
Thank you for this. I very recently had a Silent Stroke and plan this week to start seeing a Neurologist who has done research about the connectivity between AI disease and neurological problems. He was recommended (at my request) by my fantastic Neurosurgeon who removed a tumor (schwannoma) which was pressing against my spinal cord and causing extreme pain. The Shwann 'thing' is part of a nerve cell. Intuitively, I think Sjögrens is connected to my neurological issues and I hope to be given some insight into how to avoid any additional damage to my brain and other neurological symtoms.
I will share this research with my new doctor. Again, many thanks.
Same here.... I was one of those that was plagued from a very young age with super dry skin and nosebleeds. However in my teens I got something that I don't think they ever figured out...along the lines of Epstein -Barr or Chronic Fatigue. It was from that point on that the fatigue would come in waves (though usually had many months symptom free, it would come in waves) and by my mid-twenties I was dealing with chronic joint pain. Genetics set the stage for a lot of things but it makes sense that you would need some sort of catalyst to set it off.
It was a long time ago, but I think I at least had measles as a child and maybe even small pox too. That sheds light on why I have canker sores almost continuously.
I don't mean to be (fill in the blank, because I don't really know the right word here), but one of my doctors told me that few doctors even think to test for that virus in the article. It is something that one of my doctors started doing on a whim and another of my doctors recently started doing because he suspects that the virus might cause more problems than originally thought...something this article is basically indicating. So, many, if not all of us, might consider a test for this since it might not be something that you are even aware of.
I also agree that it's kinda weird how many of us had extreme stress at the time of diagnosis!
History of Autoimmune systems like RA run in my family as well as other autoimmune problems. This dates back to my grand Mothers sisters.
Also they do say that something "big" that happened to one will bring on the auto. if gene carried. I know a lady that had a car accident and after that developed RA.
I find day to day stress aggravates my arthritis and others auto. problems. Especially the seizures.
Thank You for the info.
A very good friend of mine who has always been very health and whose immediate family is unusually healthy and there is no known hx of AI illness, has been under a LOT of stress for at least five years. She got some weird symptoms and now has CREST Syndrome, an AI illness. I just wonder about the stress connection. I know I had the worst stress in my life when SS came to me.