Anti-clotting medicine attacks lupus
Lupus is a chronic disease where the body's own immune system attacks healthy tissue, causing inflammation, pain and damage in organs, particularly the kidneys.
Using mice with lupus, scientists found that if they removed blood platelets by using an anti-clotting medicine, inflammation was significantly decreased.
The treated mice had less kidney damage than untreated lupus mice and lived for an extra three months.
There is no cure for lupus, although its symptoms can be managed to some extent with a range of different medicines. Infections and kidney failure are the most common causes of death in people with the disease.
Clinical trials using a similar treatment on humans are being planned.