Scleroderma means hardening of the skin, due to a malfunction of the vascular and immune system resulting in the overproduction of collagen (a protein substance found in the body's connective tissue). In this second edition of The Scleroderma Book, Dr Maureen Mayes - the leading authority in the field - draws on her extensive experience treating scleroderma to provide up-to-date, practical information that will help patients manage their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Scleroderma can be localized (small patches of hardened skin, which tend to clear up over time), but may become systemic with excess collagen building up in various organs such as the oesophagus, kidneys, lungs, gastrointestinal tract, heart skin, and peripheral nervous system. The disorder most commonly occurs in women between the ages of 20 and 40. However, men and children can be affected as well. The disease is not contagious and is not thought to be inherited and currently, there is no known cure. Writing specifically for patients and their families, Dr.
Mayes offers sympathetic and reassuring advice on matters that often concern those living with scleroderma, such as the best course of action for those who want children, what to do if the disease affects your sex life, and what you can do to help your doctor treat your illness more effectively. The book concludes with a good humoured, frank discussion about how to cope, day in and day out, with an uncertain future - how to be a "person living with" scleroderma, not a "victim suffering from" it. Touching on virtually every aspect of this disorder, The Scleroderma Book provides a reliable source of information and reassurance for patients of any age, no matter how severe their form of the disease.
Maureen Mayes, M.D. is Professor of Medicine at the University of Texas Houston Medical School, where she directs the Scleroderma Clinic. Dr Mayes has been active in scleroderma research, clinical trials and patient care for over 20 years. She is the author of multiple papers and book chapters on the subject and is a past president and director of the National Board of Directors for the United Scleroderma Foundation, and serves on its Medical
Her professional career has been devoted to the study and treatment of scleroderma. She is the principle investigator for the National Institutes of Health Scleroderma Registry, which seeks to identify common factors amongst patients that could explain their susceptibility to develop this disease. This book represents many years of experience in explaining this puzzling disease to patients and family members.