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Awareness for Autoimmune & Neurological Degenerative Disorders

May is a busy month for promoting awareness of over 20 diseases and conditions – many of which fall into the autoimmune or neurodegenerative disease categories.

An autoimmune disease is a condition arising from an abnormal immune response to a functioning body part. There are at least 80 types of autoimmune diseases, two of which are highlighted in the month of May: celiac disease and systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

neurodegenerative disease is caused by the progressive loss of structure or function of neurons, in the process known as neurodegeneration. May is awareness month for the neurodegenerative conditions ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – also known Lou Gehrig’s disease) and Huntington’s disease.

KJT is proud of the important research we have conducted with clients in these critical areas of focus, where diagnoses can be elusive, and cures – as of yet – undiscovered. These critical projects that lead to improved patient outcomes and quality of life bring meaning to the work that our employee owners do every day.  As such, please join us in the month of May to drive awareness for the following:

Celiac disease

According to the organization Beyond Celiac, when a person with celiac disease eats gluten, the immune system sees the gluten as a threat and mounts an attack. This ends up damaging the villi of the intestines, making it difficult for the body to absorb nutrients. Beyond Celiac is dedicated to supporting research to identify the factors that lead to the development of celiac disease, with the goal of being able to actually prevent the disease from starting: https://www.beyondceliac.org/

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease that can cause inflammation and pain throughout the body. It most commonly affects the skin, joints and internal organs such as the kidneys and heart. While there is no cure for lupus at present, data from the Lupus Foundation of America helps point patients to effective treatment plans to help: control joint pain, swelling and fatigue; keep the immune system from attacking the body; and protect organs from damage. Learn more at: https://www.lupus.org/

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)

ALS is a neurodegenerative disease that results in the progressive loss of motor neurons that control voluntary muscles. In May the ALS community focuses on increasing awareness of the physical, emotional and financial burden this disease creates for people living with it – as well as for their families. This year, the focus is expanded to include the effects of COVID-19, which exacerbate the difficulties people living with ALS already face. According to the ALS Association, every 90 minutes, someone is diagnosed with the disease, and someone passes away from it. There is no cure for ALS yet. Find out more: https://www.als.org

Huntington’s disease (HD)

According to the Mayo Clinic, Huntington’s disease is caused by an inherited defect in a single gene that results in the progressive breakdown of nerve cells in the brain, affecting movement, mood and behavior control. Mayo data states there are approximately 41,000 symptomatic Americans and more than 200,000 at-risk of inheriting the disease. At present, there is no cure for HD. Find out how the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) is working to improve the lives of everyone affected by Huntington’s disease: https://hdsa.org/

Awareness and advocacy drive the ongoing evolution of research and treatment for celiac, lupus, ALS and Huntington’s disease. Thank you for your engagement in the month of May to help improve patient outcomes!