Dedicating Research Efforts on Children with Lupus

Tens of thousands of children and adolescents in the United States today are living with lupus, a chronic, incurable, autoimmune disease that requires life-long care, and in some cases, can be fatal. Approximately 15-20 percent of people with lupus are diagnosed prior to reaching the age of 18. Lupus in children and adolescents often requires more aggressive drug treatments than in adults, which comes with important ramifications for biological, psychological, and social development that have not been adequately studied.

Doctors who treat children with lupus must rely on research conducted in adults to make tough decisions about treatments and care. In  every way, the need to expand clinical and basic research developments for childhood lupus is increasingly urgent.

The Lupus Foundation of America takes a strategic approach to investigating lupus in children by calling on some of the greatest minds in the field to address the most critical issues that have stood in the way of progress, and hold the greatest promise for accelerating our understanding of how lupus affects children and adolescents.

In 2006, we established the Michael Jon Barlin Pediatric Research Program with the generous support of the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation, in memory of Michael Jon Barlin, who passed away at the age of 24 following a long battle with lupus. With those funds, the Lupus Foundation of America became the first and only lupus advocacy organization in the United States with a dedicated childhood lupus research agenda. Through this program, we provide funding to facilitate childhood lupus research in areas where there is the greatest need, including lupus nephritis, neuropsychiatric lupus and health-related quality of life. Learn more.