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.

antibody
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.

IgG4-RD & You

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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