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Patients Living with Sjogren's Syndrome Encourage Communities to "Defy the Dry"
Date:4/20/2011

PARSIPPANY, N.J. and BETHESDA, Md., April 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation (SSF), in partnership with Daiichi Sankyo Inc., today announced the launch of the Defy the Dry™ campaign, an educational initiative to ignite patient-physician dialogue about dryness symptoms. For those with Sjogren's syndrome today, it takes approximately seven years from the onset symptoms to an accurate diagnosis.  Knowing this is too long to wait for a diagnosis, motivated  patients living with Sjogren's -- the second most common autoimmune disorder(1) -- are leading an effort to encourage friends, families and doctors in their local communities to talk about dryness symptoms, especially dry eyes and dry mouth. The Defy the Dry™ campaign is the first step towards the SSF's goal of reducing the time from on-set of symptoms to diagnosis of Sjogren's by 50 percent in five years.

"As many as four million Americans are living with Sjogren's(2) and many of them may not even know it. Dry eyes and dry mouth are the hallmark symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome(2), but patients and doctors just aren't discussing these symptoms often enough or soon enough," said Steven Taylor, Chief Executive Officer of the Sjogren's Syndrome Foundation in Bethesda, Maryland. "We hope that by igniting dryness discussions through the Defy the Dry™ campaign, we can help people living with dryness get diagnosed sooner and, as necessary, start the appropriate treatment."

Sjogren's syndrome (pronounced SHOW-grins) is a chronic autoimmune disorder in which the body attacks glands -- such as the salivary glands and the tear-secreting glands -- that produce moisture vital to healthy bodily functions such as digestion and vision(2).  Dry eyes and dry mouth are the most common symptoms of Sjogren's syndrome and may result in a dry, gritty or burning sensation in the eyes, difficulty talking, chewing or swallowing, a sore or cracked tongue, and a cha
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SOURCE Daiichi Sankyo
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