On the Defense: Diagnosing Rheumatoid Arthritis Before It Starts

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA), as well as many other immune diseases, can be difficult to treat and even diagnose. Many patients suffering from these types of disorders can go from clinician to clinician with no real diagnosis on what they have. According to a report by LabRoots, scientists at the recent European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR) meeting in Amsterdam presented the newest findings on how to identify which at-risk individuals will ultimately develop rheumatoid arthritis. 

Although specific autoantibodies are known to be an increased risk of RA, having these autoantibodies doesn’t necessarily “seal the fate” of these patients.  

The study started with 67 synovial tissue samples from the knee joint of individuals with an early risk of RA. A genome-wide transcriptional profile study was conducted on 13 participants. The study found that 3,151 gene signatures were linked to elevated risk of RA, and 2,437 signatures were linked with a lower risk. 

“These studies may help us better understand and potentially identify which individuals classified as at-risk will go on to develop RA,” explained EULAR’s Robert Landewé in the LabRoots report. “This is important because it will contribute to the development of early preventative strategies including potential pharmacological treatment to prevent the onset of disease.” 

SOURCE: LabRoots