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RA Research Briefs: Tofacitinib, Fish, Remission

RA Research Briefs: Tofacitinib, Fish, Remission

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Tofacitinib Plus Methotrexate May Work As Well As Biologic If methotrexate (MTX) alone fails to control RA, adding the oral Janus kinase (JAX) inhibitor tofacitinib (Xeljanz) may be as effective as the standard practice of adding a biologic. The JAX inhibitor belongs to the third category of disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs) called targeted DMARDs. In a study of 1,146 patients with rheumatoid arthritis that had not adequately responded to MTX alone, approximately a third were switched to tofacitinib, while the others received either tofacitinib or the biologic adalimumab ...more
Study Ranks Treatments for Knee OA

Study Ranks Treatments for Knee OA

A new study takes a look at which approaches are best to bring relief to people with knee osteoarthritis (OA), a condition that affects approximately 20 percent of people over the age of 45 in the United States. Knee OA can be extremely painful and limit a person’s ability to function. Although there is no cure, numerous treatments are available to reduce symptoms, including over-the-counter and prescription drugs. Exercising and losing weight if a patient is overweight or obese also can help. Total knee replacement surgery is effective but is done only in cases where the disease is advanced and it’s ...more
Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis

Hyaluronic Acid for Osteoarthritis

If you have osteoarthritis (OA), you know all about joint pain and stiffness. One cause of these symptoms is the fact that hyaluronic acid (HA), a naturally occurring joint lubricant, breaks down in people with OA. To help alleviate the pain, your doctor might recommend treatment with hyaluronic acid injections – sometimes known as gel injections. What are HA injections? HA injections replace missing joint lubricant and are currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for use in the knees. However, some doctors may use the injections in shoulders and hips as well. The treatments will most likely take place in ...more
You Said It: PsA Skin Moisturizers

You Said It: PsA Skin Moisturizers

We asked our readers and followers “How do you keep your skin moisturized?” Here are their answers. I use Eucerin Intensive Repair Very Dry Skin Lotion and Eucerin in the jar. I also add oils like Pangea. — Suzanne McCue via Facebook I use Aveeno Eczema Therapy and argan oil after showers. — Claudia R. Hodak, Arundel, Maine I use CeraVe and humidifier with essential oils. — Donna Dixson, Atlanta, Georgia I use Cetaphil and sometimes Bag Balm for really cracked and inflamed spots. — Jodi Lynn Wilson Ruiz, El Paso, Texas For 30 years, I have only used Dove soap or Oil of Olay. In the past ...more
Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares: The Ups and Downs of Pregnancy

For some women with RA, pregnancy brings on an unexpected bonus: improved symptoms. Approximately 70% of women with RA experience improved symptoms in the second trimester that can last through the first 6 weeks after delivery, says J. Bruce Smith, MD, assistant compliance officer for research at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and a rheumatologist whose research has focused largely on autoimmune disease and pregnancy. There are several theories why disease symptoms improve, including increased anti-inflammatory cytokine levels and hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy. Exactly why some women with RA improve while others don’t is unknown, but a study out ...more
RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

RA Research Briefs: Remission, Biologics, Exercise

Keep up-to-date on the latest rheumatoid arthritis (RA) research with our brief research summaries. Smoking, Obesity Make RA Harder to Control Remission in RA patients can be harder to achieve in those who are overweight or smoke, according to a recent study. American and Canadian researchers who collected data on more than 1,100 patients receiving standard treatment for RA found that sex (being female), excess weight and smoking were not significantly associated with symptom severity early on. However, all three factors influenced how much symptoms improved over time. The most dramatic differences in symptoms were seen in patients who were overweight or ...more
Growing Up with JA Camp

Growing Up with JA Camp

In 1989, eight-year-old Gina Yocum attended Camp MASH in Wisconsin for the first time. She had so much fun at JA Camp that she went back the next summer – and then 28 more after that. For the first 10 years, Gina attended camp as a camper; this June will be her 20th year as a staff member. A Priceless Experience When Gina made her first venture to Camp MASH (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting), it was one of just a handful of JA Camps nationwide. Today, JA camps in 25 states serve kids coast to coast. Arthritis Foundation JA camps are sponsored ...more
Funding Juvenile Research Coordinators Across the County

Funding Juvenile Research Coordinators Across the County

The Arthritis Foundation is funding a new program to help support the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance (CARRA) and the CARRA Registry (registry). Eight sites were selected to receive funding to support the salary of a dedicated registry research coordinator for one year. Until now, some sites have been short-handed for this important research position. Researchers collect information through studies on many pediatric patients with rheumatic diseases over time and store it in the registry.  Research coordinators play a critical role in making sure research studies run smoothly. Those supported by this program will: Explain the registry to patients and ...more
Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Psoriatic Arthritis Research Briefs: Nail Changes, New Biologic, Biosimilar

Keep up-to-date on the latest psoriatic arthritis (PsA) research with our brief research summaries. Nail Changes May Indi­cate Psoriatic Arthritis Certain nail features can help doc­tors distinguish between psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis, and possibly lead to earlier or improved treatment for PsA, a new study suggests. In the analysis of 1,092 patients with either PsA or psoriasis only, researchers found that nail changes were more common among those with PsA than psoriasis only. Transverse (side-to-side) grooves, splinter hemorrhages (small broken blood vessels under the nails) and onycholysis (separation of the nail from the nail bed) were associated with arthritis. Transverse grooves were ...more
A New Way to Compare How Different Treatments Work for Patients with Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases

A New Way to Compare How Different Treatments Work for Patients with Pediatric Rheumatic Diseases

Every family whose child receives a diagnosis of a rheumatic disease (such as juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), lupus, dermatomyositis and scleroderma) wants the best treatment and care. The doctors who treat your child also want to provide the best treatment and care for their patients.  Over the past 20 years, new discoveries and medicines have greatly improved the lives of children with rheumatic diseases.  Many new treatment choices are good, but how can we know which medication will work the best for each child?  What if we can learn the answer to this question by simply collecting information on how ...more