For 1.5 million people living with rheumatoid arthritis, recent studies deserve attention. Answers about the genetics of this autoimmune disease were difficult to find. But by studying genetic variation, researchers in England began to answer important questions: can we predict the severity of rheumatoid arthritis? Can we predict how patients will respond to aggressive treatment? This article will review recent research on rheumatoid arthritis.
There is still a lot of work. But there is also reason to hope that a genetic understanding of rheumatoid arthritis will come. Diagnostic methods of RA.
Recent studies of rheumatoid arthritis
In this study, researchers examined data from several thousand patients. They looked specifically at a genetic variation called HLA-DRB1.
Researchers have investigated the relationship between HLA-DRB1 and rheumatoid arthritis damage to the arms and legs. Results varied depending on the location of the HLA-DRB1. Nevertheless, patients with this change in one particular place had a 1.75-fold risk of damage than those who did not have any changes.
Researchers also analyzed how patients responded to tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors. These medicines – such as Enbrel, Simponi, and Humira – treat the inflammation that is accompanied by rheumatoid arthritis. In the study, patients with HLA-DRB1 variants responded better to drugs. Drug treatment .
The limits of what we know
Think of as much as 1.75 times the risk. Compared to some other conditions that we have in the field of genetics, this is quite small. In comparison, in a person with a BRCA1 mutation, the risk of developing breast cancer is 80 percent.
But keep in mind that this is not a comparison of apples with apples. When rheumatoid arthritis is being studied, they are dealing with genetic variation instead of mutations. Think of variation as a much smaller part of the larger whole, which is a mutation. In this case, the effects of variation are much less than the effects of mutations.
We also just know more about mutations for diseases like cancer. We have a BRCA genetic mutation screening. But we are just beginning to understand how variations affect diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The connection is not so strong, and the diagnostic tools are not ready for the public. However, such studies bring us together.
The value of what we know
This latest study says that we can probably predict who will have the most serious rheumatoid arthritis. This suggests that we can probably predict who responds best to treatment with TNF inhibitors. If future researchers get similar results, clinical practice may change.
What does this mean for the patient? They want to be able to tell you: “Your symptoms will improve with aggressive therapy” or “You probably won’t benefit from the treatment, so you should avoid this and skip any possible side effects.”
These are goals for the future. But if you have rheumatoid arthritis, there is another message: if you agree, you can help advance the research needed to achieve this future.
Ask your doctor if you are a candidate for clinical trials. These tests may be performed to evaluate treatment or to understand genetic variation. The more research on rheumatoid arthritis such as this is moving forward, the closer the researchers are responsible for people with complex chronic conditions. Essential oils for rheumatoid arthritis .