Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials & Research
Do you know why we conduct clinical trials for rheumatoid arthritis? There is still no comprehensive cure for people who have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Clinical trials, like the ones we conduct here in Birmingham, serve as viable alternatives for people who have not found success through more conventional RA treatments.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory condition which can affect people of any age. In fact, RA is the most common form of juvenile arthritis. The inflammation produced by this disease can cause irreparable damage to the joints over time. Rheumatoid arthritis is a progressive disease which will lead to physical deformity if not properly treated and managed.
Clinical trials are currently testing new therapies and genetic theories which have shed further light on the biology of this chronic inflammatory condition. Many are also looking at how to reduce the negative impact of commonly prescribed RA drugs like methotrexate (MTX). This particular drug has become quite notorious for the severe side effects that it can produce.
Rheumatoid Arthritis Fast Facts
- Smoking can trigger rheumatoid arthritis
- More than 1.3 million Americans are living with RA
- Rheumatoid arthritis can lead to permanent disability and even death
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis is an active area of medical research
Much of what we now know about this inflammatory condition is thanks to a woman named Dorothy Hodgkin. She developed a severe case of deforming RA when she was only 28 years old. Despite her physical limitations, she was able to develop X-ray crystallography which provided doctors with an unprecedented glimpse at the effects of this disease.
RA is an Autoimmune Disease
Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder. This type of disease occurs when the patient’s immune system begins attacking the body’s own healthy tissues. This is what produces the debilitating pain and inflammation around affected joints. RA is also a systemic disease, meaning it can affect the patient’s vital organs as well. The symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis can go dormant for a period of time only to violently flare-up.
The inflammation can impact virtually any joint in the body, but early-stage RA tends to develop in the small joints of the fingers or toes first. Advanced RA symptoms have often moved on to larger joints like the knees, hips or shoulders. Most patients experience mirrored symptoms where the disease will impact the corresponding joints on both sides of the body.
We mentioned earlier that people can develop rheumatoid arthritis at any age, but most are diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder after they turn 40. Extensive clinical studies have also shown that the disease is much more common in women than in men.
What Causes Rheumatoid Arthritis?
Experts theorize that genetics play some factor in who develops the disease, but their exact role remains unknown. They know that a person’s genes isn’t the trigger, but it could make them more susceptible to certain external factors. In some cases, this dysfunctional autoimmune response could be triggered by an infection (virus or bacteria).
We would like you to know that your participation does not have to be a very demanding experience. Participating in a rheumatoid arthritis clinical trial in Birmingham, AL may only require agreeing to let our researchers have a copy of your test results– most will require a little more involvement.
All participants will be compensated for time and travel, and any study related care. The following are all provided free of charge:
- Physical examinations
- Laboratory services
- Study related medication
Read more posts about Rheumatoid Arthritis on the Achieve Clinical Blog
Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials in Birmingham, AL
Achieve Clinical Research is currently conducting a wide array of clinical studies targeted towards certain conditions. You may be eligible to participate in one of our RA clinical trials and contribute to the development and approval of a new drug or treatment. As a participant, there is no cost to you at any point during the study and health insurance is not required. Browse our clinical trials being conducted now to find the study best suited for you.
Video Overview of Rheumatoid Arthritis
Additional Resources for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis
If you live around Central Alabama, click here to learn more about participating in a RA clinical trial. Also, our sister site Avail Clinical Research conducts RA clinical trials in DeLand, Florida.