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NIH MedlinePlus the Magazine, Trusted Health Information from the National Institutes of Health

Feature:
Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Research

Accelerating Medicines Partnership

Accelerating Medicines Partnership
(AMP—Part 2 of 4)

The NIH, pharmaceutical companies, and nonprofit organizations have together created the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) to develop new models for identifying and validating promising biological targets for new diagnostics and drug development. The partners have designed a project plan to address relevant challenges for rheumatoid arthritis.
Read Part 1 on Lupus in MedlinePlus magazine, Spring 2014 issue: medlineplus.gov/magazine/

NIH-Supported Research

Woman with rheumatoid arthritis is examined by a doctor

Video: Living with Rheumatoid Arthritis
A 55-year old woman learns to successfully
cope with rheumatoid arthritis

  • NIH-supported researchers recently discovered that the presence of a specific type of gut bacteria correlates with rheumatoid arthritis in newly diagnosed, untreated people. The finding suggests a potential role for the bacteria in RA.
  • In November 2012, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a new oral medication (the first in a new class of drugs) for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. The drug, tofacitinib (Xeljanz), targets a protein that was discovered in the early 1990s by investigators at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS).
  • NIH scientists are studying genetic factors that predispose some people to developing rheumatoid arthritis, as well as factors connected with disease severity. Research in this area has led to several important genetic discoveries.
  • Researchers continue to identify molecules that appear to play a role in rheumatoid arthritis and, thus, are potential targets for new treatments.


RA Quiz

  1. Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the
    1. kidneys.
    2. joints.
    3. muscles.
  2. In an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system
    1. turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect.
    2. functions automatically.
    3. fails to fight off infections.
  3. Rheumatoid arthritis generally affects
    1. one side of the body.
    2. both sides of the body.
    3. only the upper body.
  4. Rheumatoid arthritis occurs more frequently in
    1. women.
    2. men.
    3. neither—it occurs as frequently in women as in men.

RA Answers

1. B is the correct answer.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an inflammatory disease that affects the joints. It may also attack tissue in the skin, lungs, eyes, and blood vessels.

2. A is the correct answer.

In an autoimmune disease like rheumatoid arthritis, the immune system turns against parts of the body it is designed to protect.

3. B is the correct answer.

Rheumatoid arthritis generally affects both sides of the body. If one knee or hand is involved, the other one is, too.

4. A is the correct answer.

Rheumatoid arthritis occurs much more frequently in women than in men. About two to three times as many women as men have the disease.

Read More "Understanding Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)" Articles

When Your Immune System Attacks Your Body / Treatment and Causes / Research / "You Are Not Alone."

Summer 2014 Issue: Volume 9 Number 2 Page 15