New therapies and advances in genetics, proteomics, pharmacology, and genomics have led to major progress in recent years. To capitalize on these advances and to get us to our goal of curing RA, it has been determined that research must be focused in the following three areas: causes, diagnosis and treatment.
A key part of WOR research is aimed at stopping or reversing the immune system response that causes RA—the triggers that cause antibodies to produce inflammation in the joints. These triggers must be identified so that occurrence of the disease can be prevented altogether.
Since early medical intervention has been shown to improve function, stop damage to joints as seen on x-rays, and prevent work disability, it is extremely important to streamline the diagnosis of RA. Currently, diagnosis is based on the pattern of symptoms, the distribution of the inflamed joints, and blood and x-ray findings—a complex system.
There is no known cure for rheumatoid arthritis. To date, the goal of treating RA is to reduce joint inflammation and pain, maximize joint function, and prevent joint destruction and deformity. Extensive research into new treatments will not only improve RA patients’ quality of life, but can lead to drug-induced remission of the disease.