The findings were published online on October 20 and are reported in the November issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation. The research was conducted at the Lowance Center for Human Immunology at Emory University School of Medicine, and was led by rheumatologists Cornelia Weyand, MD, PhD, and Jorg Goronzy, MD, PhD. The study's first author was Thor-sten M. Seyler.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic and crippling inflammatory joint, bone and cartilage disease affecting more than 2.1 million Americans. An autoimmune disease, RA is characterized by an abnormal immune response in which the immune system attacks healthy tissue, causing in-flammation of the lining of the joints, called the synovium.
For the last 20 years researchers, including those at Emory, have worked to identify path-ways and molecules that play a role in RA, resulting in new therapies that target inflammatory growth factors and a marked improvement in treatment success. However, even though not all RA patients respond well to these therapies, they are applied universally, without accounting for differ-ences in disease.
"We need to become much more sophisticated as rheumatologists in understanding that RA is not all the same disease and that when we treat it we will see very diverse results," said Dr. Weyand. "Rheumatologists need to develop diagnostic tools to capture differences in pati
Contact: Holly Korschun
Emory University Health Sciences Center