Last week at the Conference of Champions, Andrea Avery, author and Arizona-based Foundation volunteer, shared her gripping story, intertwining her love for piano and the reality of her arthritis. Beyond sharing her personal story with hundreds of volunteers in Phoenix, she also met and performed with her inspiration, Byron Janis, master and renowned pianist. See below for an excerpt from her book, Sonata: A Memoir of Pain and the Piano.
During a natural disaster, not having your medications or assistive devices adds to physical and emotional stress, which can trigger arthritis flares and leave you vulnerable to injury and infection.
“High stress levels make rheumatic conditions worse; having an established emergency plan can only reduce stress,” says Jennifer Hootman, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Arthritis Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia. Registered nurse Victoria Ruffing, director of nursing and patient education at the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center in Baltimore, MD, also stresses the need to have a plan for your medications – and awareness of the potential dangers for people with arthritis of the storm’s aftermath.
“Contaminated water, debris, and other post-hurricane conditions mean environments are ripe for infection and injury,” she says. “People should be on the alert for these and, if they pick up a bacterial or viral infection or have a wound that’s not healing well, they should seek medical care as soon as possible. This will probably mean going to an emergency department, but they should not put off seeking care – in disaster conditions medical problems can get worse very quickly.”
What a wonderful weekend! The 10th annual National Gathering Conference was held last weekend June 9-11 in Kansas City and what a weekend it was! This year’s conference was particularly special – we celebrated 10 amazing years of this wonderful Gathering which was reflected in the conference theme “10 Years & Growing,” and throughout the conference.
The Gathering was created for adults living with arthritis and rheumatic diseases to gather together and learn from healthcare and patient experts how to live their best life. We all know living with arthritis is difficult, but at the Gathering we learn together how to combat life’s daily challenges.
Continue reading Highlights from the 10th Annual National Gathering Conference
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently approved the biologic drug sarilumab (Kevzara) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Sarilumab blocks a protein called interleukin-6 (IL-6), which plays a key role in many inflammatory diseases, including RA. It’s the second IL-6 inhibitor to receive FDA approval for RA; the other, tocilizumab (Actemra), got the nod in 2010.
Continue reading FDA OKs a New Biologic for RA
Today, the president released the administration’s official budget request for fiscal year (FY) 2018, which would make deep cuts to health programs across health agencies and would have severe implications for Medicaid and other programs that deliver vital health care services to people with arthritis. While the Arthritis Foundation agrees that health care reform is necessary and our country needs to make important spending decisions, it should not be at the expense of people with arthritis, which now affects one in four Americans and the prevalence is growing.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved Renflexis (infliximab-abda), a biosimilar to Remicade (infliximab), making it the fourth biosimilar approved to treat inflammatory types of arthritis.
Renflexis is the second approved biosimilar to Remicade. The first one, Inflectra (infliximab-dyyb), was approved in April 2016. This is the first time the FDA has approved two biosimilars for one original, “reference” medication.
Continue reading FDA Approves Second Remicade biosimilar
More than 50 million Americans have arthritis – that’s one in four people. It’s currently the nation’s number one cause of disability.
But this month—with your help— we’re fighting back with the #FightFor50 campaign! To participate, we are asking that you share your story — tell us about your personal fight with arthritis, or tell us about a person you are fighting for, whether it’s parent, grandparent, sibling, partner or a friend.
Continue reading Share Your Story! Help Us Raise Awareness this Arthritis Awareness Month
Dr. Rae Yeung believes in collaboration and building networks to solve problems. Her current 3-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Precision Decisions to STOP JIA”, is an example of that. The goal is to develop a tool that will predict treatment response to specific drugs. Dr. Yeung’s study focuses on a group of high-risk children with polyarthritis, one of the most severe forms of childhood arthritis that affects many joints and is difficult to treat.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Rae Yeung
This story started with a dozen male research mice survivors from hurricane Sandy in 2012. The storm devastated Dr. Bruce Cronstein’s research lab, but born from the destruction was Dr. Cronstein’s 5-year Arthritis Foundation Investigator-funded project, “The Role of Adenosine Receptors in Osteoarthritis.”
He described the damage: “Our labs were closed for nearly a year and a half. We lost a lot of our animal facilities. However, once a lot of the debris was cleared, we were able to go in and found that some of our mice had survived.”
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Bruce Cronstein
Things on the health care front are moving fast. Last week, the House voted to pass the American Health Care Act, a bill that changes several key features of the Affordable Care Act (also called “Obamacare”). The bill has moved on to the Senate where it could be voted on, as is, or amended and sent back to the House for further consideration.
Continue reading The American Health Care Act: What You Need to Know