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Researchers Look For Lupus Solution

25 November 2010

Researchers at the University of Ulster are searching for a solution to a debilitating autoimmune disease that affects predominantly women of childbearing age.

The effect of diet on Systemic Lupus Erythematosus disease, commonly know as Lupus or SLE, will be examined by the Biomedical Sciences Research Institute at Ulster’s Coleraine campus. The researchers will aim to see if dietary factors are related to disease activity, fatigue and quality of life in SLE patients.

There are a variety of symptoms associated with SLE including fatigue, muscle weakness, skin rashes and swelling of the joints. Many of which have a direct impact on quality of life, negatively impacting on the day to day living of those diagnosed with SLE.

Research within the Northern Ireland Centre for food and health (NICHE) at the University is aimed at “identifying food components or dietary regimes likely to lead to benefits for human health”. And so researchers at the University want to determine if dietary factors can promote better quality of life in SLE.

Examining the effect of diet in this case is PhD student Leanne Breslin. Under the supervision of Dr Emeir McSorley, Dr Julie Wallace, Dr Pamela Magee, and Dr Paul Thompson at the University of Ulster Coleraine, and Consultant Rheumatologists Dr Aubrey Bell, QUB and Belfast Health and Social Care Trust and Dr David Armstrong Western Health and Social Care Trust.

Ms Breslin said: “We will be recruiting individuals with SLE in November and December of this year and are specifically looking to recruit those who are registered patients within the Western or Belfast Trusts.” It is anticipated that this exciting research will impact positively on the health of those living with Lupus not only in Northern Ireland but elsewhere.

For further information about this research project please contact Ms Leanne Breslin Tel: 02870323546 Mobile: 07543970700 Email: