Patients & Families


Approximately 20% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) develop the condition in their childhood years. SLE can affect different parts of the body, and range from mild to severe. Research has increased our understanding of how children are affected by SLE, both physically and emotionally. Research has also identified important differences in how SLE affects children compared to adults. This has helped to improve care for children with SLE. However, treatments remain limited for children with SLE.  Currently, no medications are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) specifically for children with SLE. There are still key research questions that need to be answered:

  • Why does SLE look different from child to child?
  • How does SLE and its treatment impact children’s daily lives and how they feel?
  • How does SLE affect children as they grow into adults?
  • Which medication is the best one for me and my SLE?
  • How can my SLE care be improved and tailored to better meet my needs?

Through research, CARRA seeks to learn the answers to these and many other questions. Doctors and families need these answers to be able to decide on the best personal treatment plan for each child with SLE.

Since SLE affects different body areas, experts from different specialties are working together. These experts include rheumatologists, nephrologists (kidney doctors), dermatologists (skin doctors), and psychologists. CARRA researchers are also partnering with the Lupus Foundation of America to identify and address the most important areas for research. 

In addition to being able to the right treatment for each patient, CARRA researchers seek to discover new and better treatments, and eventually a cure. 

Below you will find CARRA’s SLE research projects.