The Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases & Rheumatology Unit
The Shlomo and Pola Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases at Sheba Medical Center is a specialized facility dedicated to all aspects of autoimmune research and treatment. Some of the clinics comprising our center include the Rheumatology Unit, Clinical Immunology, Angioedema and Allergy Unit, Lupus Clinic, FMF Clinic, and Autoinflammatory Disease. World-class physicians and researchers from a variety of fields, including internal medicine, clinical immunology, autoimmunity, rheumatology, ophthalmology, neurology, obstetrics and gynecology collaborate to provide advanced healthcare services.
Autoimmune diseases result when the body’s dysfunctional immune system attacks its own organs, tissues, and cells. There are about 80 known autoimmune diseases, many of which can lead to debilitation and a significant reduction in quality of life. Presently, autoimmune disorders affect approximately 20% of the world’s population. At the Zabludowicz Center for Autoimmune Diseases, we are involved in the latest research into innovative therapies and techniques and conduct a variety of progressive studies to test new drugs.
What conditions do we treat?
We treat the majority of autoimmune diseases, some of which are affected by only one body system, as well as others that are affected by several systems in the body, including:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Systemic lupus erythematosus
- Multiple sclerosis
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Type 1 diabetes
- Skin diseases, such as pemphigus vulgaris, scleroderma, vitiligo
- Allergic conditions: chronic and seasonal rhinitis (hay fever), allergic asthma, food allergies, medical allergy, dangerous reactions to pruritus and stinging, skin rashes, urticaria, anaphylaxis, repeated edema
- Cases in which a healthy immune system is affected by severe infections and repeated, immune deficiency diseases and occupational diseases
What treatments do we offer?
At Sheba, our multidisciplinary experts custom design every treatment program to address the patient’s particular type of autoimmune disease and any associated symptoms. Most treatments are based on the administration of anti-inflammatory drugs, typically steroids. In addition, biological drugs, which are targeted and associated with few side effects, are often given intravenously. A range of therapies are given in our clinics, including:
Sheba runs this unit as a base to offer a multifaceted, holistic response for rheumatic autoimmune diseases. The goal of this division is to provide an early, accurate diagnosis of rheumatoid autoimmune disease, thereby helping to enhance quality of life and prevent complications in complex patient cases. In the institute’s outpatient clinic, we provide biological treatments for transfusions.
Interventional Musculoskeletal Ultrasound (MAMA)
At this specialized clinic, we use ultrasound to assist in the comprehensive examination of tendons and joints, performed by a rheumatologist. The ultrasound results provide full details about the inflammatory and degenerative processes occurring in various joints, and also enables precise injections to be delivered with ultrasound guidance. Injections, such as hyaluronic acid and steroids, are used to alleviate various erosive and inflammatory processes and can sometimes help the patient to avoid systemic drug therapy (and all the possible side effects of this treatment).
Fibromyalgia Clinic – Fibrotherapy CBT workshops
Fibromyalgia, especially common in women, can lead to severe pain and a significant restriction in daily functioning. We offer treatment based on a combination of phased aerobic exercise, empowerment and mentality, and targeted drug therapy for central pain relief (as opposed to anti-inflammatory therapy). The program generally consists of 8 weekly sessions that combine guided physical activity with cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). A rehabilitative clinical psychologist specializing in fibromyalgia and pain conducts the sessions in collaboration with a rheumatologist.
Clinical Immunology, Angioedema and Allergy Unit
Treatment is provided for respiratory and dermatologic allergic diseases. We conduct skin testing, patch tests, laboratory evaluation, pulmonary function tests (including methacholine, exercise, and allergen challenges), rhinomanometry, and food and drug challenges. Our clinic administers immunization therapy using the latest standardized FDA-approved allergens. In our day care unit, we also deliver specialized treatments such as intravenous immunoglobulins for primary immunodeficiencies, drug desensitization protocols, and supervised completion of immunization programs. This Sheba division also houses our Pulmonary and Environmental Allergy Laboratory.
Merav Lider-Dershi, MD
Director, Rheumatology Unit
Prof. Lidar specializes in rheumatic diseases, autoinflammatory diseases, and autoimmune disorders and has published over 80 articles and several book chapters in the field. She received her medical degree from the Sackler Faculty of Medicine at Tel Aviv University and completed a research fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin, in the US. Prof. Lidar is also actively involved in the research of Familial Mediterranean Fever, including non responsive disease and FMF-related spondyloarthropathy.
Holistic Treatment for Autoimmune Disorders
While autoimmune diseases can attack either a specific body tissue or be systemic, all types of autoimmune disorders are believed to result from an imbalance in the immune system. There are many different approaches to identifying and treating the imbalance and the resulting symptoms, including medical therapy, diet, and supplements. At Sheba, we embrace an integrative range of treatments that pays attention to all parts of your overall wellness. Healthcare specialists from many disciplines, such as doctors, psychologists, social workers, dietitians, and exercise therapists work together to provide the most effective care to enhance the quality of life for each patient. To ensure that every individual’s experience is as smooth and efficient as possible, we provide all services conveniently under one roof on our vast campus.