This study fits neatly into another of our core aims, finding new ways to treat bone and joint disease.
Around 12,000 children in the UK are affected with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) – one in every 1,000 young people*. These conditions can have a long-term impact on their health and well-being – causing joint pain, inflammation and stiffness. New biological drugs that fight disease are now an option, but they aren’t always effective and can cause serious side-effects. Professor Margaret Hall-Craggs at University College London is developing specialised magnetic resonance scans to help doctors measure joint inflammation more accurately and to choose the best drug treatment for each child. Their goal is to reduce pain and disability and to improve long-term quality of life for children with JIA.
Professor Hall-Craggs’ research work shows real transferrable potential, as inflammatory and degenerative joint conditions can affect animals too. For example, degenerative joint disease is extremely common in older cats, while a group of diseases known as immune-mediated polyarthritis can affect dogs, and be challenging to diagnose and treat. Any new or improved way to help manage these conditions in human patients therefore also has the potential to advance veterinary medicine, ultimately improving the lives of animals too.
This project is due to complete in late 2020.
Part of this text has been adapted from the Action Medical Research project page. Find out more details.
*National Rheumatoid Arthritis Society. [Accessed 26 August 2018]