Biological rationale behind success of steroids to treat lupus explainedThe biological rationale for why large doses of corticosteroids given repeatedly over several weeks may help individuals with lupus has been uncovered by researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

Lupus is a chronic inflammatory disease that affects more than 1 million people in the United States. Unlike the anabolic steroids abused by athletes for bulking up muscles, corticosteroids are routinely used to treat inflammation in lupus patients.

Dr. Marilynn Punaro, professor of pediatrics at UT Southwestern and co-author of the study and director of the pediatric rheumatology division at UT Southwestern, said that steroids are probably always going to be a short-term fix because they work fast and powerfully.