Arthritis Research UK welcomes new patron

Published on 14 December 2011
Professor Graham HughesArthritis Research UK, the leading funder of medical research into arthritis and musculoskeletal conditions, has announcied the support of a new patron, Professor Graham Hughes MD FRCP, Head of the London Lupus Centre at London Bridge Hospital.

Dr Liam O’Toole, chief executive of Arthritis Research UK commented: “We’re delighted to have the support of such a renowned expert as Professor Hughes and warmly welcome his contribution to our work in leading the fight against arthritis”.

Professor Hughes is a specialist in lupus, also known as systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), a potentially serious autoimmune disease affecting the skin, joints and internal organs.

A consultant rheumatologist, in 1983 Professor Hughes identified the clotting disorder known as antiphospholipid syndrome (also called Hughes Syndrome).

It is a common autoimmune disease associated with lupus that makes blood more sticky or thick, and therefore more prone to clotting in both veins and arteries. Lack of awareness of this condition means it is often missed or overlooked. Sticky blood can affect old and young, men and women alike and is found throughout the world. No one knows what causes it, although there is evidence that there is a genetic link.

Professor Hughes, who first identified the condition at St Thomas’s Hospital, says sticky blood is dangerously under-diagnosed and believes there is a need to raise levels of awareness among the medical profession and the public.

In 1993 Professor Hughes received the World Rheumatology (ILAR) Research Prize for the description of antiphospholipid syndrome.

Professor Hughes commented about his appointment, “I am very much looking forward to working with Arthritis Research UK, which is pioneering the way forward in medical research for all kinds of arthritis.”
Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS)

Antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) causes blood clotting and recurrent miscarriage. We explain the causes, diagnosis and treatments, including self-help measures.

Lupus (SLE)

Lupus is an autoimmune disease that causes your immune system to attack your body's own tissues. It can cause inflammation in many different parts of your body.