Student’s research into rare illness to be funded by charity set up after death of teenager
A CHARITY set up by the parents of a Scottish teenager who lost her life to a rare disease is helping fund a student to do research into the illness.
• Charity set up after death of a teenager is to fund a PhD student’s research into rare disease
• Lauren Currie died aged 15 of vasculitis in 2010
• No preventative medicine currently available for disease which affects one in 5,000
It is named after Lauren Currie, who suffered from vasculitis, who died aged 15 in 2010 in Kilmarnock.
Vasculitis affects around one in 5,000 people and is the term for a group of diseases where the blood vessels become inflamed, often affecting multiple organs.
Its cause is not yet known, it has no preventative medicine and currently the only therapies for vasculitis are drugs that suppress the immune system which result in other debilitating side effects.
The Lauren Currie Twiglight Fund will fund research into the disease being undertaken by Aberdeen University PhD student Catriona Walls, from Aberdeen.
She will work alongside consultant nephrologist Dr Lars Erwig, who is an internationally recognised researcher in inflammatory and autoimmune diseases at the University of Aberdeen.
Dr Erwig said: “Vasculitis is a tricky condition because it is so rare and because it can present itself in a number of ways. This can make diagnosis particularly difficult for GPs, who may not have seen another case of it before.
“Vasculitis is also a relapsing disease and one of the key challenges in patient management is to give patients enough treatment to keep the disease under control while minimising the severe side effects of drugs that suppress the immune system.”
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