Donate to Collagen Vascular Disease Research, Patient Care and Education

Collagen vascular diseases are a group of autoimmune disorders that cause inflammation in collagen and neighboring joints.  In an autoimmune disorder, the body’s immune system attacks its own skin, tissue and organs. Specialists at Northwestern Medicine diagnose patients with many different forms of collagen vascular disease including:

  • Lupus erythematosus: Patients may experience fatigue, joint pain, shortness of breath and a facial rash on both cheeks.
  • Systemic scleroderma: Scleroderma causes abnormal collagen growth resulting in swelling in the fingertips, joint pain, spider veins and calcium bumps.
  • Sjogren syndrome: This disorder is typically seen with other immune disorders and causes dry eyes and mouth.
  • Other forms of connective tissue disease including dermatomyositis, morphea, vasculitis and nephrogenic systemic fibrosis
  • Mixed connective tissue disorders such as Raynaud disease

Northwestern Medicine offers patients with collagen vascular disease a reputable team of rheumatologists and dermatologists that work together to implement the best plans of care. With your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation, these physicians will be given the chance to learn more about collagen vascular disease in the hopes of developing life-changing treatments.

Symptoms of collagen vascular disease differ depending on the specific type of disease. In general, changes in the skin are usually the first indication of a collagen vascular disease. Other symptoms commonly seen in collagen vascular disease include:

  • Skin rash
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle weakness and aches
  • Joint pain
  • Fever

Physicians at Northwestern Medicine are still studying the causes of collagen vascular disease. It is known that collagen vascular disease is an autoimmune disorder that results in the body attacking its own healthy tissues. Medical professionals also know that these diseases run in families and may worsen with stress or other illnesses. Additional funding to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will give scientists the opportunity to conduct the proper research that will lead to answers about the causes of collagen vascular disease. One day, these answers may result in a cure.

The medical team at Northwestern Medicine holds a vision for the development of effective treatments that provide relief to all patients. You can bring this vision into fruition by making a donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation.  Current treatments for symptoms of collagen vascular disease are:

  • Corticosteroids: An anti-inflammatory medication that helps normalize the immune system
  • Immunosuppressants: These medications lessen the symptoms associated with its attack on healthy tissue.
  • Joint replacement: A prosthetic joint may be recommended in cases of severe damage.
  • Physical therapy: Physical therapy may help with increasing mobility and easing pain.
  • Lifestyle changes: Avoiding the sun, managing stress and regular exercise can help control symptoms.

Collagen Vascular Disease Research, Patient Care and Education Donation

Collagen vascular disease brings about many uncomfortable symptoms that can get in the way of everyday life. Constant stiffness, embarrassing rashes and the everyday risk of complications can make the lifelong management of this disease challenging. Your donation to Northwestern Memorial Foundation will give people living with this incurable condition a chance to live a fulfilling life through better care and treatments. Consider making a donation today.

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