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FDA OKs Biologic for Psoriatic Arthritis

FDA OKs Biologic for Psoriatic Arthritis

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the biologic drug abatacept (Orencia) to treat psoriatic arthritis (PsA) in adults. It’s already approved for rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and for one subtype of juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA). Abatacept is a biologic medication that works by targeting T-lymphocytes (T cells), immune cells that are overproduced in people with inflammatory arthritis. The drug, technically called a “selective costimulation modulator,” attaches to the surface of the cells, preventing them from communicating with other cells and producing chemicals that can lead to joint damage and symptoms like pain and swelling. It’s given as a monthly infusion ...more
Tai Chi for Knee Osteoarthritis

Tai Chi for Knee Osteoarthritis

Experts have long recommended tai chi as a low-impact workout that’s gentle on the joints. Research published in 2016 in Annals of Internal Medicine revealed additional benefits: It may be as effective as physical therapy for knee osteoarthritis (OA). In the study, people with knee OA either took a tai chi class or went to physical therapy twice a week. After three months, both groups experienced similar improvements in symptoms, such as physical function and pain reduction. But those who did tai chi had a bigger boost in their quality of life and less depression, says study author Chenchen Wang, MD, ...more
Houston Kicks Off the 33rd Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Houston Kicks Off the 33rd Annual National Juvenile Arthritis Conference

Over the weekend, nearly 1,000 kids, teens, young adults and their families made their way to Houston, Texas, to take part in the first of two National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences in 2017. For the second year in a row, the Arthritis Foundation is hosting two JA Conference locations to serve more kids, families and young adults across the country, while also welcoming “home” our returning veteran families. “Every kid and family who deals with this disease every day shows so much strength and conviction,” said Katy Carter, the 2017 JA Conference Chair. “We’re warriors through thick and thin, celebrating our victories, ...more
A New Study Finds Pharmaceutical Chondroitin Helps Knee OA Pain and Function

A New Study Finds Pharmaceutical Chondroitin Helps Knee OA Pain and Function

Chondroitin sulfate improves osteoarthritis (OA) knee pain and functional limitations in walking and daily activities as effectively as the anti-inflammatory drug celecoxib (Celebrex), according to a new study published recently in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases. But U.S. readers should know, there’s a catch: the researchers tested a version of chondroitin sulfate that is not available in this country. Chondroitin is a naturally occurring component of cartilage, which helps cushion joints. The product is manufactured from animal sources and sold as an over-the-counter, oral dietary supplement in the United States. The highly purified, high-potency pharmaceutical-grade chondroitin sulfate used in the study ...more
The 2017 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference in “Space City” Houston Blasts Off Today!

The 2017 National Juvenile Arthritis Conference in “Space City” Houston Blasts Off Today!

Today, kids, teens, young adults and their families from across the country are landing in Houston, Texas, for the first of two national Juvenile Arthritis (JA) Conferences the Arthritis Foundation is hosting this year. The JA Conference is a unique opportunity to connect families, kids, teens and young adults affected by JA and other rheumatic diseases who spend the weekend networking, learning, sharing tips and forming bonds that can last a lifetime. Almost 1,000 people are attending the first of two JA Conference events – held at the beautiful Hilton Americas Houston, a property that sits next to Discovery Green park, George R. Brown ...more
Salute JA Warriors During Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

Salute JA Warriors During Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month

July may be best known for watching fireworks, eating ice cream and splashing in the pool. But it’s also the month when we recognize that one out of every 250 kids in the United States lives with some form of juvenile arthritis (JA). Yes, July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, dedicated to making everyone aware that kids get arthritis, too – and a reminder that, while a lot of progress has been made in treating it, there’s still a lot more to do to get to the bottom of this painful and debilitating disorder. So this month, help spread awareness about the ...more
Five Things to Know About the JA Conference

Five Things to Know About the JA Conference

As we prepare for the 2017 National Juvenile Arthritis Conferences, here are five things to know from our Conference Chair, Katy Carter, if you’re getting ready to join us this summer! Calling All JA Warriors! With the theme of the 2017 JA Conference being JA Warriors, we want to know how YOU are #StrongerThanJA! We are JA Warriors. Every day, we deal with the challenges of juvenile arthritis.  While our situations are unique, we’re in this together. Bold, brave and bright. Battling whatever gets in our way and celebrating our victories. As JA Warriors, we stick together, determined to win the fight ...more
Hand OA Risk Higher for Women, Caucasians, Overweight People

Hand OA Risk Higher for Women, Caucasians, Overweight People

About 40 percent of adults in the United States are likely to develop osteoarthritis (OA) in at least one hand by age 85, and some people are more at risk than others, according to researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Their findings were published recently in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology. Hand OA gets less publicity than knee or hip arthritis, but it can be just as debilitating. Painful, stiff, sometimes-bent fingers can make it hard to eat, dress or type. Although it’s commonly associated with old age, hand OA often starts in midlife, affecting a person’s ability ...more
Arthritis Foundation to Pilot Peer Mentorship Program

Arthritis Foundation to Pilot Peer Mentorship Program

The Arthritis Foundation is excited to announce the launch of the iPeer2Peer Mentorship Program, a new initiative that aims to provide help and support for teens with juvenile arthritis and related childhood rheumatic diseases. The iPeer2Peer Program was developed by the iOUCH (improving Outcomes in Child Health through Technology) research team at the Hospital for Sick Children in Ontario, Canada to help teens with chronic disease better manage their condition. The program itself matches teens with mentors comprised of young adults who have learned to effectively manage their disease. Using an online video-calling platform, mentors and teens will schedule six sessions that last ...more
Study Confirms That Losing Weight May Save Your Knees

Study Confirms That Losing Weight May Save Your Knees

Losing excess weight may help preserve knee cartilage in people who have or are at risk of knee osteoarthritis (OA), according to researchers at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), whose findings were recently published online in the journal Radiology. Knee cartilage is the rubbery, slick cap that covers the ends of the upper (femur) and lower (tibia) leg bones that make up the knee joint. Their study also found that shedding extra pounds protected the menisci, the crescent-shaped cartilage pads that cushion the knee joint. Lead author Alexandra Gersing, MD, a postdoctoral scholar at UCSF School of Medicine, says ...more