Education & Resources

You don’t have to navigate IgG4-RD alone. IgG4ward! is constantly working with patients, caregivers, and others to develop resources based on the unique wants and needs of the IgG4-RD community, including:

Easy to understand disease information

Insights from others living with IgG4-RD

IgG4-Related Disease FAQs

What is IgG4-RD?

IgG4-Related Disease (IgG4-RD) is a rare autoimmune disorder. The first part of this word, “auto,” means self, and the second part, “immune,” refers to the immune system. The immune system is the body’s defense system that normally works to prevent infections and fight off infections when they do occur. In an autoimmune disease, the patient’s immune system attacks his or her own body.

The immune system includes antibodies, or proteins that recognize and target specific types of organisms that can be harmful if left unchecked. In autoimmune diseases, antibodies sometimes become misdirected and target the patient’s own organs or tissues.

IgG4 is the name of a specific type of antibody. All people, whether healthy or sick, have antibodies, which are an important part of the immune system. In IgG4-RD, for unknown reasons, patients usually develop levels of IgG4 antibodies in their blood that are very high. However, the role of IgG4 in IgG4-RD is not well understood.

In most IgG4 antibodies, the two halves of the antibody are not identical. This is because while circulating in the blood, the IgG4 antibody literally becomes “unhinged,” that is, the two identical halves disconnect from each other and recombine with another half antibody that is not identical.

IgG4-RD Research Progress

IgG4-RD was completely unrecognized as a unique condition until 2003. Since then, major strides in understanding the clinical features of IgG4-RD, how the disease presents, what the disease looks like under the microscope and on imaging studies, and its molecular footprint in the blood have been made. This knowledge has helped shape studies for potentially effective treatments and led to important insights into how to keep patients well.

We are committed to providing resources to help IgG4-RD patients live fully and well and are dedicated to one day finding a cure.

IgG4ward! Webinars

Educating others about IgG4-RD is a key component of our mission and one of our founding values. Whether you just learned what IgG4-RD is or have been a diagnosed patient for years, we encourage you to learn more about the condition by checking out our webinars.

igg4ward fireside chat video cover

IgG4ward! Inaugural Fireside Chat

Original Broadcast
December 15, 2023

IgG4ward! founder, Dr. John Stone, and board members Dr. Emma Culver and Dr. Arezou Khosroshahi, discuss IgG4-RD organ involvement, disease progression, disease treatment, and much more.

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from Boston to Beijing

From Boston to Beijing: IgG4-RD and Steroid Toxicity

Original Broadcast
November 17, 2023

Are you an IgG4-RD patient or caregiver, or a healthcare professional looking to learn more about IgG4-RD and steroid toxicity?

Check out this discussion from IgG4-RD experts Dr. John Stone MD, MPH, and Dr. Wen Zhang MD PhD, Professor in Rheumatology at Peking Union Medical College.

The conversation includes:

  • An overview of IgG4-RD
  • The outsized role of steroids in the treatment of IgG4-RD
  • Updates on trials of new steroid-sparing alternatives

IgG4-RD & You

Learn how IgG4-RD impacts different organs and find answers to frequently asked questions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Thank You to Our Sponsors!

We want to thank all individual contributors who have supported and continue to support IgG4ward!

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