Tag Archives: arthritis research

OA Patient Guidelines

Arthritis Today’s Snapshots from the ACR Meeting: Part 2

The editors ofArthritis Todaymagazine were on the scene, collecting news and information to share with readers from the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) Annual Meeting, November 9-13, in Atlanta. Here are a few of the many interesting and enlightening research topics they learned about.

Genes Play a Role in Disease Changes in Pregnancy
What do women with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) expect when they are expecting? The rule of thumb has long been that RA goes quiet during pregnancy but flares after delivery. But that’s not true for everyone, and researchers in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Oakland, California, are trying to figure out why. In two small studies, they looked at gene expression profiles of women with RA who had similar disease activity pre-pregnancy, and then again during the third trimester and at three months post-partum. They compared these gene profiles to those of healthy women. Researchers found a pre-pregnancy genetic signature that predicted improvement or worsening during pregnancy. They also found differences between the RA and healthy groups in gene expression during the post-partum period.–MARCY O’KOON

Patient Partner Perspective:Shannan O’Hara-Levi attended a couple sessions related torheumatic conditions and pregnancy. As a patient of child-bearing age, she is concerned about having enough resources and information about family planning with RA but also how any reproductive health legislation impacts rheumatology patients.

“Rheumatology patients and their rheumatologists need to strengthen their conversations about their reproductive health.”–Shannan O’Hara


Is Remission That Important Anyway?

A presentation by members of EULAR (the European League Against Rheumatism), deconstructed remission – that is, the absence of disease activity in inflammatory types of arthritis (such as RA). Titled “The Road to Remission is Long and Bumpy but Worth It in the End,” the presenters first examined how remission is measured. (Doctors use 17 different combinations of function scales, blood markers and joint exam results.) Another presenter looked at the benefits of remission, including better function, less disability and joint damage and longer overall survival – but noted that there is a trade-off between the aggressive treatment needed to achieve remission (more medication, more doctor visits and tests) and the benefits of achieving it. A third presenter examined whether certain medications are better for achieving remission, or if it’s the overall strategy that counts. (Hint: it’s the strategy.) And the last presenter took a look in the crystal ball to see if doctors will be able to predict remission using molecular changes, similar to methods used for certain types of cancer. The answer? Yes, but not yet.–ANDREA KANE

Machine Learning Used to Predict Flares
Doctors cannot predict which RA patients can successfully taper or stop biologics. A group of researchers set out to determine whether a machine could do better. They designed a computer algorithm that used real-world patient clinical data and analyzed variables, such as percentage change in biologic dose, disease activity, disease duration and levels of inflammatory markers. They found that a machine could learn to predict flares after tapering and saw its performance improve as more patients’ clinical data was added. The aim is one day to provide physicians with a reliable tool for guiding decisions about tapering medication.– MARCY O’KOON

Why Sky-High Biologic Prices?
Public spending in the U.S. on biologics almost doubled between 2012 and 2016 due mostly to drug price hikes over those years – not to more people getting access to them, one study found. Natalie McCormick, PhD, a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and Mass General Hospital, and her team analyzed data from Medicare (Parts B and D) and Medicaid. In one analysis, for example, they determined that price increases for 11 biologics accounted for 56% ($1.7 billion) of the increased spending (after adjusting for inflation) in Medicare Part D, compared to 37% ($1.1 billion) for an increase in new users. Adalimumab (Humira) and etanercept (Enbrel), two of the oldest and most widely prescribed biologics, had the biggest increases in price.––ANDREA KANE

Tapering Biologics When They’re Hard to Get
In the United States, people who take biologics and reach remission are often eager to taper off the medication, but in New Zealand, the decision is difficult, even though it’s recommended by EULAR. In her abstract session, “Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients’ Perspectives on Tapering of Biologics,” Lisa Stamp, PhD, of the University of Otago in Christchurch, explained that fewer biologics are available to people with inflammatory arthritis in New Zealand, where a government agency decides which drugs are subsidized. Patients must try and fail numerous other medications (from methotrexate to gold shots) for many months before qualifying for a subsidized biologic. “These people have been through a lot to get to a biologic,” Stamp said. As a result, they were anxious that if they tapered off it, they wouldn’t be able to get it again if their disease worsened. However, not having to get injections or infusions “makes you feel like you’re well.” Participants wanted to make the decision to taper with their rheumatologist, but better tools are needed to help patients make the decision and feel assured that their needs would be addressed.–JILL TYRER

Inflammatory Arthritis Infection Risks After Joint Replacement
Despite the good safety record of nearly 1 million total hip and knee replacement surgeries performed annually in the U.S., they are not without risk, including infections. A study presented by Susan Goodman, MD, director of the Integrative Rheumatology and Orthopedics Center of Excellence and the medical chief of the Combined Arthritis Program at the Hospital for Special Surgery, showed that rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients are at a higher risk of developing a prosthetic joint infection compared to those with OA. In addition, the length of time after surgery that patients stayed at risk was longer for those with RA than OA. Dr. Goodman cited several reasons, including the use of medications such as immunosuppressants, having active RA, having disabilities, the implants themselves, tobacco use and revisions of previous implants.– BRYAN D. VARGO

Patient Partner Perspective:Laura Genoves attended this session, which brought up some major concerns for patients with RA like her.

“Hearing that RA patients have an increased risk of infection after joint replacement surgery made me feel wary.”– Laura Genoves

Laura was glad to learn that researchers are trying to better determine what factors contribute to this increased risk of infection. People with RA must be aware of what can potentially happen post-surgery. All surgeries come with risks associated, but it’s a whole other level of risks to consider for people with RA, so Laura feels like this is definitely something patients should know and discuss with their rheumatologists.

OA Patient Guidelines

Arthritis Today’s Snapshots from the ACR Meeting: Part 1

The editors ofArthritis Todaymagazine were on the scene, collecting news and information to share with readers from the American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) Annual Meeting, November 9-13, in Atlanta. Here are a few of the many interesting and enlightening research topics they learned about.

Anti-inflammatory Diet Improves Disease
Strawberries, apples, brussel sprouts on a table长期以来,人们一直不确定饮食是否会影响炎性关节炎的疾病活动度。两项研究提供了一些证据来证明这一点。在一项研究中,17名活动性类风湿关节炎(RA)患者(定义为至少三个疼痛和三个肿胀的关节)遵循了两周的抗炎饮食。在测量氧脂素、参与炎症、疼痛和其他细胞功能的分子之前、期间和之后的血液测试。这种饮食添加了姜黄、抗氧化剂、益生元和益生菌。它消除了促炎成分,如乳糖(在日记中发现的)、面筋和红肉,并提高了omega-3和omega-6脂肪酸的比例。研究发现,这些受试者有良好的饮食坚持。14天后,一系列疾病指标显著降低,测试显示与血液中羟脂素水平的变化有关。作者的结论是,饮食有可能补充药物治疗和改善风湿性关节炎患者的生活质量。–MARCY O’KOON

Depression and Resilience
Inflammation has been shown to have a role in depression, but does that make depression an inflammatory disorder? No, emphasized Andrew Miller, MD, a researcher in Emory School of Medicine’s psychiatry department. Depression may be associated with the inflammation that’s at the heart of inflammatory diseases like rheumatic and psoriatic arthritis and lupus, but it’s not associated in otherwise healthy people with depression. (Biologics that have been used to target inflammation in depression have had no effect.)

In the same session, “Mechanisms & Mediators of Psychiatric Comorbidity in Rheumatology,” Afton Hassett, a psychologist and researcher in the University of Michigan’s Chronic Fatigue and Pain Research Center, explored the role of resilience in people with arthritis and pain. People with rheumatic diseases tend to have a more negative outlook than “healthy” people do, but positive emotions – which are key to resilience – are associated with less pain, less need for medications, earlier discharge from the hospital and other positive outcomes. The good news is that resilience can be learned. Hassett described some exercises, including these three: 1) Pick a future point, such as one or five years from now, and imagine being your best self, living to your full potential, then write about it in detail. 2) Every day write down three things for which you are grateful; as time goes on, you’ll become aware of even smaller things to appreciate. 3) Pick a day this week and do five kind things for others and one kind thing for yourself.– JILL TYRER

Patient Partner Perspective: Stacy Courtnayattended this session on pain, depression and anxiety and said it really resonated with her.

“The more connections you have with people living in a similar situation as you, the better mental and emotional health you will have. Support groups are the key to managing your overall well-being.” – Stacy Courtnay

Stacy says “we need the support of each other” and being involved in the Arthritis Foundation has really helped her to make these connections since it is a big part of the mission. The Live Yes! Arthritis Network has played a huge role in helping her to get connected with people who understand her struggles.

The Problem of Sleeplessness
对于关节炎患者来说,疼痛会影响睡眠并不奇怪;研究表明,更显著的相关性是失眠加剧疼痛。密歇根大学的Anna Kratz博士和英国阿伯丁大学的Daniel Whibley博士在一个名为“不再数羊:循证睡眠管理”的会议上讨论了睡眠不足对关节炎患者的影响和治疗方法。(惠布利说,事实上,数羊入睡要比放松想象多花20分钟。)他讨论了昼夜节律在不同人的睡眠模式中的作用(“早起鸟”vs.“夜猫子”),以及夜间睡眠的结构(夜间醒来几次是正常的)。他还说,患有风湿病的人通常“睡眠效率”较差——他们醒着躺着的时间比其他人睡着的时间更长。睡眠不足会导致精神障碍以及疼痛和疲劳,有睡眠问题的人应该筛查其原因,比如阻塞性睡眠呼吸暂停或慢性失眠——这两种情况在关节炎患者中很常见——或阿片类药物或其他药物的副作用。

良好的睡眠卫生(定期锻炼;保持卧室黑暗、安静;有规律的睡眠;关掉蓝光电子设备等)可以帮助很多人,但风湿病患者可能需要更多帮助。美国睡眠医学学会不建议使用睡眠药物,并建议将认知行为疗法(CBTi)作为治疗失眠的一线疗法。但是在美国,很难找到有资格进行CBTi训练的人。(Whibley和Kratz建议风湿病学实践中应该有人接受CBTi培训)“最重要的是作息规律,包括周末,”Whibley说。如果你睡不好,寻求帮助。“不要认为睡眠不好是造成这种情况的部分原因。”–JILL TYRER

Patient Partner Perspective: Cheryl Crowattended this session on sleep, which shestated was a very informative and engaging session. She was surprised by some of the information she learned when it comes to sleep and the rheumatic disease population. Cheryl said having a patient on this sleep panel sharing her story was powerful to witness as a patient herself.

“与普通人相比,在患风湿病的人群中,失眠和阻塞性睡眠呼吸暂停更常见,37-50%的人有某种障碍。我完全不知道。让我想去做评估。” – Cheryl Crow

She was moved to see that so many rheumatology professionals were in the room asking questions to get the patient perspective, demonstrating that patient engagement is crucial in providing better patient care.

Standard PRO Measures Miss Younger Patients
Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) are routinely used by doctors as well as in research, but Erika Mosor, a researcher at the Medical University of Vienna, Austria, found that the standard measures may not get a true view of younger patients. In her session, “When You Read This, You Really Feel Old: Perspectives of Young People with Inflammatory Arthritis on Patient Reported Outcome Measures from a European Qualitative Study,” she reported that patients aged 18 to 35 said the PROMs of daily functioning and other issues “seem like they’re for old people.” They don’t address technology, childcare, social life, sex, loss of friends and other issues relevant to younger patients. Because their concerns are overlooked, results may be skewed so these patients appear to be doing better than they are; some patients said they considered marking worse scores just to get their concerns recognized. PROMs should be more tailored to patients so they can be used more effectively in shared decision-making, Mosor said.– JILL TYRER

rheumatoid arthritis research

ELMO1 -不仅仅是你的友好,红芝麻街的角色!

Dr. Sanja Arandjelovic has been studying inflammation and arthritis for a while – specifically, how a gene called ELMO1 is related toarthritis symptoms在老鼠身上。2010年,关节炎基金会授予Arandjelovic博士Philip S. Maaram Esq。Research (Planned Giving) 3-year grant for a project that studied cell enzymes related to joint inflammation inrheumatoid arthritis (RA)在老鼠身上。

During this study, Dr. Arandjelovic worked with Dr. Kodi Ravichandran and his research team at theUniversity of Virginiaon a related project, examining the process ofjoint inflammationin RA. Their work may provide clues to why the pain flare-ups associated with RA occur – and lead to new treatments.

Continue readingELMO1 -不仅仅是你的友好,红芝麻街的角色!

rheumatology funding

Closing the Gap on the Nation’s Rheumatologist Shortage

Many of us know thataccess to careisn’t always a guarantee. All too often, seeing a rheumatologist includes traveling out of state because of the severe rheumatologist shortage. Last year we committed to closing this gap by offering Fellowship grants to universities in underserved areas. After careful consideration, we recently selected five schools to receivefellowship grants帮助医生在这个专业领域取得进步。这些机构获得了15万美元的资助,用于开设现有奖学金项目的新名额。

我们很高兴能够提供这些奖项,因为新资助的职位将对他们的社区产生影响。执行主任凯尔西·伍兹向我们介绍了她所在地区的一所学校获得的赠款。“华盛顿大学长期以来一直是关节炎基金会的合作伙伴,致力于控制和治疗这种使人衰弱的疾病。我们很自豪能继续在西雅图华盛顿大学资助风湿病研究。Healthcare access is and must continue to be a top priority in the region, and this investment is confirmation that we will continue to fight for that.”

Three adult and two pediatric rheumatology fellowships have been offered and accepted by the follow programs:

Continue readingClosing the Gap on the Nation’s Rheumatologist Shortage

carra grants 2018

Spring 2018 Childhood Research Grants Announced

We recently gave approximately $160,000 toward childhood arthritis research in the form of research grants. The grants are funded through theChildhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA); small grants were given to pediatric rheumatologists and fellows small grant research awards were given to third year fellowship students.

Continue readingSpring 2018 Childhood Research Grants Announced

dr christian lattermann

Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Christian Lattermann

Osteoarthritis Center of Excellence Research Story

Over the last month, we’ve kept you updated on the work being done by the researchers in ourosteoarthritis (OA) center of excellence(OA COE). The COE is currently funding three Clinical Trial Network demonstration studies that may lead to better diagnosis and earlier treatments for arthritis. Researchers from six different institutions will collaborate in various aspects of these cutting-edge studies. This is the last in a series of three blogs describing these studies.

Most people with partial or complete rupture of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) develop post traumatic OA (PTOA) within 10 to 20 years after their injury. Unfortunately, current ACL injury treatment options (both surgical and non-surgical) are successful in the short-term but do little or nothing to reduce the risk of developing PTOA later.

All three of the current OA COE are demonstration projects that build on knowledge gained from earlier foundation-funded ACL and PTOA research.

Continue readingResearchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Christian Lattermann

dr virginia byers kraus osteoarthritis research

Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Virginia Byers Kraus

Osteoarthritis Center of Excellence Research Story

Ourosteoarthritis(OA)center of excellence(COE)目前正在资助三项临床试验网络示范研究,可能导致更好的诊断和早期治疗OA。来自六个不同机构的研究人员将在这些前沿研究的各个方面进行合作。这三项研究相互关联,目的相同,它们建立在关节炎基金会资助的先前研究的基础上。这是描述这些研究的三个博客系列中的第二个。Read the first one here.

Dr. Virginia Byers Kraus is working to identify biochemical biomarkers found in synovial (joint) fluid and urine from post-traumatic OA patients who have suffered anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) rupture. The samples used for this study come from samples collected from a2013 Arthritis Foundation-funded projectthat validated using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to measure the molecular changes that begin to occur in joints immediately after an ACL tear.


The goal of this project is to evaluate which biochemical markers are connected to inflammation and cartilage breakdown following ACL rupture. The team is working to identify which biomarkers are most critical for predicting risk of OA after injury and to confirm the earliest and best timepoints to start treatments.

“With heart attacks, we treat immediately for best results,” explained Dr. Kraus. “We’re hoping to show that the same is true for joint injuries. What is important is the time from the injury to medical intervention. We must treat early to prevent further damage. What we currently see is that about half of the patients who have surgery for an ACL tear eventually develop more serious disease.”

By identifying biomarkers that appear early following an injury and by using more sensitive MRI imaging techniques, researchers hope to identify the individuals at highest risk for more serious joint disease and to determine the “window of opportunity” for providing treatment to prevent subsequent OA. Earlier interventions might include new drugs designed to halt the disease process and other anti-inflammatory drugs, thus reducing the need forjoint replacements后来又提高了生活质量。

Dr. Kraus was inspired to study OA by her father. Her father, a surgeon during the Vietnam War, damaged his hip and as a result endured 3 hip replacements over the rest of his life. While her father continued working into his 70’s, Dr. Kraus felt frustrated watching his daily suffering and the suffering of her clinic patients. It’s pushed her to want to make a difference and stop OA in its tracks.

“Osteoarthritis is a big and challenging beast -it’s the most prevalent disease in the world,” she explained. “It affects mobility, which in turn affects your heart and many other aspects of your health. We’ve begun to see success in understanding many types of arthritis, but up to now, we haven’t been as successful with OA. It’s so frustrating for me to see the suffering caused by this disease.”


Dr. Kraus, the principal investigator in this project, is a professor of Medicine, Pathology and Orthopaedic Surgery at Duke University in Durham, NC. She will be working with other researchers from Duke University, as well as researchers from the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) in NYC, and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

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