“You are what you eat” is a phrase we often hear. But how true is it? Dr. Richard F. Loeser, Jr. and his research team are looking at the role of diet in their Arthritis Foundation-funded project “The Role of the Microbiome in Metabolic Osteoarthritis (OA)”.
Different factors play into why a person develops OA, including aging, injury, and being overweight. Diet plays an important role. What you eat can help influence what bacteria (or microbiota) live in your digestive track (gut). This, in turn, can influence what chemicals are released into your body. A healthy gut generally has a more diverse collection of helpful microbiota, while a microbial imbalance can lead to disease.
Continue reading Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Richard F. Loeser, Jr
Big things come in small packages, and Dr. Hongsik Cho is very familiar with this phenomenon. When we first introduced Dr. Cho in August 2016, he was beginning work on his 2-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “A Novel Method of Detecting and Treating Early PTOA Using Smart Nanosome”. He and his team are studying two things: a new drug and a new drug delivery system. The drug, called TPCA-1, works to prevent inflammation caused by post-traumatic osteoarthritis (PTOA). The drug delivery system uses small packets called nanosomes that contain TPCA-1 and a fluorescent dye that illuminates the nanosomes’ path once injected into mice.
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“Why did my child get arthritis?” This parent-driven question is at the heart of Dr. Jim Jarvis’s juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Interplay between genetics and epigenetics in polyarticular JIA”.
“This is less about an illness driven by inherited genes and more about how the environment affects gene expression,” explained Dr. Jarvis. “It’s been shown that only about 30 percent of the risk for developing JIA can be attributed to gene variations.”
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Venom can kill, but this research proves it could help do the opposite. More specifically, some chemicals found in venom could act as a treatment for disease. These chemicals come from a deadly reptile, but with the help of Dr. Christine Beeton, venom might be able to better the lives of multitudes of people.
Dr. Beeton and her research team are looking at the chemicals found in scorpion venom as a source of potential treatment for autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
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Every day, scientists work toward the advancement of rheumatoid arthritis (RA)treatment. And Dr. C. Michael Stein has made an exciting new discovery that could help these advancements along and predict how specific treatments will work.
Dr. Stein is looking at small molecules that have the potential to cause big problems. His 5-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Extracellular small RNAs in rheumatoid arthritis,” is looking at how small molecules of ribonucleic acid (RNA) in the blood may be markers for different diseases.
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Earlier this year, we awarded funding to six scientists for projects submitted that show remarkable innovations and steps towards finding a cure for arthritis and related diseases. For the first time, we included patient input in selecting the projects that showed the most promise and meant the most to them.
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If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis (RA), Dr. Salah Ahmed’s research project may be just your cup of (green) tea! Dr. Ahmed’s 2014 Innovative Research Grant project, “Mechanism of Mcl-1 regulation in RA by EGCG”, looked at the effects of an anti-inflammatory molecule found in green tea (epigallocatechin-3-gallate or EGCG) on a protein (Mcl-1) found in RA joints.
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What if injured joints could heal themselves before they develop osteoarthritis (OA)? Dr. James Martin’s current 3-year Arthritis Foundation-funded project, “Engineering Endogenous Cartilage Repair,” is trying to do just that- find ways to help joints heal before developing OA.
Dr. Martin and his team use special goats that have defects in areas of the thigh bones and cartilage, just above the knee. This closely mimics knee injuries that are seen in humans. The defects are surgically repaired with a hydrogel matrix that contains two important ingredients: repair cell attractant and growth factor. The repair cell attractant causes repair cells, called chondrogenic progenitor cells (CPCs), to migrate into the hydrogel. CPCs naturally occur in the cartilage. The growth factor, which is time-released over 10 days, causes the CPCs in the hydrogel to multiply and repair the injury with new cartilage.
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Trillions of bacteria live in or on your body. There are actually as many bacteria in your body as cells in your body. Fortunately, for most of us, most bacteria that live within us are helpful, not harmful. We call these bacteria commensal bacteria. Dr. Martin Kriegel and his team have been studying these bacteria, and more specifically, a protein that humans and bacteria produce, called Ro60, that plays a role in the development of lupus.
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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.
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