What is lupus?

Back to Lupus (SLE)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, which means your immune system, the body's defence system, produces antibodies that attack your body’s own tissues, causing inflammation. There are two main types of lupus:

  • discoid lupus
  • systematic lupus erythematosus (SLE).

These pages focus on SLE, which is often just known as lupus.

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Lupus: a special report

George Plumptre

Two years ago former Times gardening correspondent George Plumptre donated a kidney to his brother Francis, when lupus caused his kidneys to fail. Now chief executive of the National Gardens Scheme, which made Arthritis Research UK its guest charity in 2010–11, he tells how his donation transformed his brother’s life.

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