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Benaroya Research Institute scientists identify drivers of rheumatoid arthritis
Date:6/11/2014

ints and cause pain. We would like to find ways to treat people early and target only the cells that cause the disease and eventually, prevent this disease."

Rheumatoid arthritis is thought to be a T cell mediated disease and is caused when the body's immune system mistakenly begins to attack its own tissues, primarily the synovium, the membrane that lines the joints. As a result of this autoimmune response, fluid builds up in the joints, causing joint pain and systemic inflammation.

RA is a chronic disease in which most people experience intermittent periods of intense disease activity punctuated by periods of reduced symptoms or even remission. In the long term, RA can cause damage to cartilage, tendons, ligaments and bones which can lead to substantial loss of mobility.

An estimated 1.3 million people in the United States have RAalmost 1 percent of the nation's adult population. There are nearly three times as many women as men with the disease. In women, RA most commonly begins between the ages of 30 and 60. In addition, as many as 300,000 children are diagnosed with a distinct but related form of inflammatory arthritis called juvenile arthritis.

This work was funded by an Autoimmune Disease Prevention grant from the National Institutes of Health. A new grant of $1.3 million from the U.S. Department of Defense will extend the discovery to ask in-depth questions about whether these T cells reflect disease activity and if they change in patients who respond to therapy. Drs. Buckner and James will lead the study with Bernard Ng, MD, Chief of Rheumatology, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Healthcare System. Research will include biorepository studies of samples voluntarily provided by Veterans Affairs and BRI research participants who help to advance science.


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Contact: Kay Branz
kbranz@benaroyaresearch.org
206-342-6903
Immune Tolerance Network
Source:Eurekalert

Page: 1 2

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