Breakthrough Blood Test for Early Detection of Sjögren’s Syndrome Now Available

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Beverly Hills rheumatologist, Dr. Susan Baker, has high hopes for a new blood test that will effectively detect early signs of Sjögren’s Syndrome

Susan Baker, MD

I am very enthused to learn that a new blood test will have the capability to distinguish Sjögren’s Syndrome from other diseases with very similar symptoms.

Just a little over two years ago, hope was in the air for those suffering from Sjögren’s Syndrome after a new autoantibody associated with the disease had been discovered by researchers at the University of Buffalo and Immco Diagnostics, Inc. After the groundbreaking discovery, the next phase of research was to develop a new diagnostic test that would be used to precisely detect the presence of new autoantibodies. Researchers aimed to develop a test that would more accurately identify a diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome early in the process, thus ultimately improving identification and treatment of the devastating autoimmune illness.

Great news surfaced in 2013 as Immco Diagnostics announced that the new diagnostic test had been finally approved. The test, which is now available for physicians to use throughout North America, gives hope to many suffering from Sjögren’s Syndrome.

Sjögren’s Syndrome is a chronic autoimmune disease affecting more than four million Americans. Those suffering from the condition experience painfully dry eyes and mouth caused from the body’s own cells attacking moisture producing glands. The symptoms of this disease are similar to those of other diseases including lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and multiple sclerosis. Both genetic factors and non-genetic factors are at play when it comes to the development of the slowly progressive disease.

“As a rheumatologist, I am very enthused to learn that a new blood test will have the capability to distinguish Sjögren’s Syndrome from other diseases with very similar symptoms. Early detection and having a treatment plan in place for those living with the harsh reality of this disease will prevent more serious complications from occurring down the road. I am hopeful that this will improve patient outcomes,” said Dr. Baker, a rheumatologist in Beverly Hills, California.

Prior to the groundbreaking discovery by the University of Buffalo and Immco Diagnostics, Inc., diagnosis of Sjögren’s Syndrome was considered to be very difficult, often taking an average of 3.9 years from the first signs of symptoms. The novel biomarkers have significantly higher sensitivity and specificity than with traditional screening methods, making them more likely to detect early signs of the disease.

Dr. Susan Baker is board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology. She has been providing exceptional and personalized care from her Beverly Hills facility since 2003. She is also a teacher and clinical instructor at Cedars Sinai Hospital and UCLA, David Geffen School of Medicine, respectively.

To learn more about Susan A. Baker MD, Rheumatology & Internal Medicine, please visit susanbakermd.com, or call (310) 274-7770.

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