Dear Readers,

Our bodies’ immune system usually protects us from invaders like bacteria and viruses, but sometimes the system goes haywire and attacks the very organs it should be protecting. Autoimmune diseases are frequently hard to diagnose and treatment may require a team of specialists, among them endocrinologists. In this issue, four specialists discuss strategies for managing systemic lupus, an autoimmune syndrome that affects multiple body organs and systems. The condition afflicts far more women than men (page 16).

Expanding on the problems of autoimmune diseases and perplexing medical conditions, writers Terri D’Arrigo and Glenda Fauntleroy explore two of the most baffling to diagnose, Klinefelter and Sjögren’s syndromes. Sjögren’s, like most autoimmune diseases, usually afflicts women, but Klinefelter affects only men. Although a sleeper condition for many men, it usually has devastating consequences for their fertility (page 24).

A fascinating story full of warning is Shannon Fischer’s investigation of counterfeit drug trafficking. As our global communications via the Internet have increased in the last decades, the pharmaceuticals market has been inundated with fake medicines. In her article, Fischer takes us along as she shops online for medications and details the how-to of the illicit trade and what authorities are doing to stem the tide (page 36).

This month’s Back Story takes us to the zoo. Dan Kelly’s profile of reproductive physiologist Janine Brown tells us how advances in endocrinology are working to increase populations of endangered animals (page 54).

Marian Smith Holmes
Managing Editor
Endocrine News

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