Rheumatoid Arthritis

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Clinical Trials for Rheumatoid ArthritisGeneral purpose: 

Clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis may study the role of the immune system in its development, alternative therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, how rheumatoid arthritis affects the body as a whole, as well as the role of genetics and hormone in the development of rheumatoid arthritis.

Research may also test new drug therapies for rheumatoid arthritis, and compare their effectiveness to existing drug therapies or alternative medicine therapies, such as herbal supplements, acupuncture, and dietary modifications.

What do clinical trials for Rheumatoid Arthritis involve?

Clinical trials will vary widely in the information they collect, as well as the tests and procedures they use. All of these factors will depend on individual study designs, which will differ greatly between trials.

However, below is a list of common procedures and data that are frequently collected during a trial for rheumatoid arthritis:

  • Blood tests to measure levels of certain immune system markers (such as rheumatoid factor and anti-CCP antibodies) or genetic factors.
  • Blood tests to measure:
    • Complete blood count
    • C-reactive protein
    • ESR / sed rate
  • Ultrasound and/or MRI
  • X-rays of the joints
  • Biopsy and analysis of joint fluid (i.e., “synovial fluid”).
  • Assessments of how rheumatoid arthritis is affecting the patient’s quality of life.

Examples of Rheumatoid Arthritis- related research topics:

  • Studies looking at the immune systems of individuals who have rheumatoid arthritis in order to understand how and why it develops.
  • Studies of genetic factors in families with multiple cases of rheumatoid arthritis, in order to understand how genetics increases the risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Studies comparing the clinical, imaging (e.g., X-ray), DNA data of rheumatoid arthritis from specific racial and ethnic groups in order to understand how the disease course differs between those groups.
  • Studies investigating the interaction between hormones, nerves, and the immune system in rheumatoid arthritis patients.
  • Studies investigating the increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis among women, as well as why rheumatoid arthritis often improves during pregnancy.
  • Studies investigating new drugs that can treat rheumatoid arthritis with fewer side effects than conventional treatments.

Suggested search terms for “rheumatoid arthritis:

“Rheumatoid Arthritis” “rheumatoid arthritis treatment,” “juvenile rheumatoid arthritis,” “rheumatoid arthritis methotrexate,” “rheumatoid arthritis pregnancy,” “rheumatoid arthritis complications,” and “rheumatoid arthritis symptoms.”


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