An autoimmune disorder can be triggered by a virus, an injury or an immune-suppressing drug or by other yet unknown events. Among the more common autoimmune disorders of the eye is one called uveitis. Doheny doctors specialize in treating patients with this and other ocular immune disorders. They also carry out advanced research to understand the underlying biological mechanisms behind the disorder and to improve treatment. Deming Sun, MD, of Doheny Eye Institute is dedicating his career to understanding the biochemical regulators of autoimmune uveitis. He and his colleagues have been identifying proteins that correlate with recurrent episodes of the disorder as well as the underlying biochemical regulators of these proteins. The ultimate goal of their laboratory studies is to develop preventive or therapeutic strategies that suppress the autoimmune reaction.
Uveitis refers to a group of inflammatory diseases that produce swelling and destruction of portions of the eye. It can be associated with a whole host of diseases such as AIDS, herpes, multiple sclerosis, and ulcerative colitis. Treatment is typically geared toward eliminating inflammation, preventing further tissue damage, and reducing pain.