December 2020 Arthritis News Roundup

The Arthritis Foundation is your trusted source for information, and we’re staying on top of the latest arthritis-related news that could affect you. As we head into 2021, here’s a wrap-up of the headlines from this past month.

Here are some of the most recent developments regarding COVID-19 and vaccine information:

CDC Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Vaccine for People With Underlying Conditions
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued updated guidance for people with underlying medical conditions who may receive the coronavirus vaccine, including those with HIV, weakened immune systems and autoimmune conditions such as Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and Bell’s palsy. Learn more.

CDC Update on What to Expect at COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment
The CDC recently released an overview on what to expect before, during and after a COVID-19 vaccinating, as well as resources to help monitor your health post-vaccination. Learn more.

Understanding the Messenger RNA COVID-19 Vaccines
While those who are immunocompromised are typically unable to take any type of “live” vaccine, the two FDA-approved vaccines currently being administered in the U.S. are messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines. Read this article to gain a better understanding of what this means and how mRNA vaccines work.

Are the COVID-19 Vaccines Safe for Immunocompromised Patients?
Many people may feel anxiety over whether or not the available vaccines are safe for those with compromised immune systems or those who are taking biologic medications. Learn what the experts are recommending.

Scientists Identify Genetic Variants Linked to Risk of Getting Severe COVID-19
A new study of thousands of COVID-19 patients has revealed eight genetic sequences that are more common in people who develop life-threatening cases. The discovery will not only help develop new drugs to aid in the treatment of the virus, but points to existing medications that could help severely ill patients recover.

Moderna Begins Study of COVID-19 Vaccine in Adolescents
Moderna Inc. said last month it had dosed the first participants in a mid-to-late-stage study testing its COVID-19 vaccine candidate in adolescents aged 12 to less than 18 and aims for data ahead of the 2021 school year. The trial will enroll 3,000 healthy participants in the United States and will assess the safety and effectiveness of two doses of the company’s vaccine candidate, mRNA-1273, given 28 days apart.

FDA Authorizes Nonprescription, At-Home COVID-19 Test
The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for the first non-prescription at-home COVID-19 test, which allows users to swab a sample at home and then send it to a lab for processing. LabCorp’s Pixel COVID-19 Test Home Collection Kit can be purchased online or over the counter at a store. Other at-home tests have only been available by prescription.

For the latest updates on COVID-19, vaccines and arthritis, visit the Care & Connect resource center to find FAQs and tips on staying healthy during the pandemic.

Other Arthritis-Related News

Publication Recognizes Unique Patient Engagement Approach in the Development of the Live Yes! INSIGHTS Program
The Arthritis Foundation’s Live Yes! INSIGHTS program was recognized in the December issue of the ACR Open Rheumatology publication in an article outlining the unique approach the Foundation took in developing this patient-reported outcome measures survey. The Arthritis Foundation, working closely with leading scientists and measurement experts, used a unique and ambitious patient-validated approach to determining the data points that would be most meaningful. Input from more than 100 patients, health care providers and measurement experts was carefully vetted and tested over a year-long process. The result is a research tool that uniquely puts relevant and meaningful data into the hands of national and community decision makers. Read the article.

Participate now in the INSIGHTS program.

PRIME Cells May Predict Rheumatoid Arthritis Flares
Newly identified preinflammatory mesencyhmal cells, or PRIME cells, are potential predictors of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) flares, according to study results published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The aim of the current study was to identify transcriptional signatures that preceded clinical symptoms.

Already having a flare? You can find tips for managing an arthritis flare here.

Synovial, Skin Gene Expression Differences May Explain PsA Treatment Responses
Differences in gene expression between the skin and synovial tissues of individuals with psoriatic arthritis could explain why treatments targeting proinflammatory mechanisms don’t improve joint symptoms in some patients. Learn more.

Learn more about psoriatic arthritis treatments here.

Brain Stimulating Earbuds Could Ease Pain in RA
A company called Nēsos is exploring the use of an earbud that would send an electrical current through the inner ear to reduce inflammation and pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis, an autoimmune disease that causes joints to swell and bones to wear down. An electrical current travels through the auricular branch of the vagus nerve and ultimately targets a pathway in the brain that controls inflammation. The results of its first feasibility study are being published later this year in a leading medical journal. Read more.

You can visit our website for more resources to manage your pain.

RA Patients Are More Likely to Experience Multiple Biologic Failures?
A study examined factors associated with multiple failures to biologic disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (bDMARDs) among patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). They concluded that younger age and the presence of erosions were independent risk factors.





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