Scleroderma Research Foundation to Host Live Webinar on Gastrointestinal Complications in Scleroderma

Dec 10, 2013, 09:15 ET from Scleroderma Research Foundation

Director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine is the latest expert to participate in a free webinar series for scleroderma patients and caregivers.

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 10, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Dr. Pankaj "Jay" Pasricha, Director of the Center for Neurogastroenterology and Professor of Medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine will host a patient-focused webinar on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10 a.m. PST. "GI Complications and Treatments in Scleroderma" will educate patients, family members and others about this frequent and serious complication of scleroderma. Attendees will learn more about the latest treatments and tools to better manage symptoms.  

Dr. Pasricha is an expert in neurogastroenterology and deals with disorders affecting the nerves and muscles of the stomach causing problems with gastrointestinal motility and pain. He provides his expertise to patients at The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center of Excellence, as well patients with motility disorders.

"Scleroderma patients are often affected by severe symptoms manifesting in the gastrointestinal tract," says Scleroderma Research Foundation Executive Director Amy Hewitt. She adds, "Esophageal reflux and trouble swallowing are two of the most common complications for which patients need help. We're fortunate to have one of America's leading experts lead a discussion on currently available treatments and others that are on the horizon."

Dr. Pasricha's GI-focused webinar is the 13th in an ongoing educational series available live or post-broadcast on the Foundation's website at The series is free and made possible by generous support from Gilead Sciences, MedImmune and United Therapeutics.

Register online at:

Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. PST.

About Scleroderma
The word scleroderma means hard skin, but the disease is much more—often affecting the internal organs with life-threatening consequences. Scleroderma is considered a rare autoimmune disease and has one of the highest mortality rates of the rheumatic diseases. Women comprise 80% of the patient population with typical onset between the ages of 30 and 50. Scleroderma is characterized by widespread vascular abnormalities, immune dysregulation and fibrotic complications affecting multiple organs including the skin and lung. The disease is not contagious or directly hereditary and scientists are still searching for possible causes. There is no known cure and current therapies address various symptoms rather than truly arresting disease progression.

About The Scleroderma Research Foundation:
The Scleroderma Research Foundation is America's leading nonprofit investor in scleroderma research. It was founded in San Francisco in 1987 by scleroderma patient Sharon Monsky who lost her battle to the disease in 2002. Monsky's legacy lives on through the organization, chaired by Luke Evnin, Ph.D., a scleroderma patient and managing partner of MPM Capital, one of the world's largest dedicated investors in life sciences.

The Foundation's collaborative approach is guided by a world-class Scientific Advisory Board and is empowering scientists from leading institutions to work together to develop an understanding of how scleroderma begins, how it progresses and what can be done to slow, halt or reverse the disease process.

About The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center
The Johns Hopkins Scleroderma Center specializes in the care of patients with scleroderma and related conditions such as Raynaud's phenomenon, localized scleroderma and pulmonary arterial hypertension. The Center's mission is to provide excellent clinical care while seeking to better understand the causes and best treatment approaches for scleroderma. All physicians at the Center are actively involved in clinical or translational research, looking for ways to expedite discoveries in the laboratory and apply them to new and better treatments for scleroderma patients.

For more information, call 1-800-441-CURE or visit Follow the SRF on Facebook and Twitter.

SOURCE Scleroderma Research Foundation