Arthritis And Aging Research

Arthritis as part of the aging process may bring many health pitfalls

Osteoarthritis is the degeneration of joint tissues caused by injury, repetitive use or the aging process. When we reach 50, our immune system no longer function at its optimum (typically 20-50 years of age). This may lead to various autoimmune disorders, including autoimmune forms of arthritis such as rheumatoid arthritis and lupus.


Understanding the connection between aging and the onset and progression of arthritis is a focus of specific research. The Arthritis National Research Foundation (ANRF) and the American Federation for Aging Research (AFAR) have formed a collaboration to fund research in this area by co-funding a $100,000 grant annually.

Arthritis And Aging Research

Some of the projects have already funded include gout in aging populations and the effect of cellular senescence (changes in cells due to aging) as a driver and therapeutic target for osteoarthritis.

Research Highlights

Arthritis and Aging Research Questions

Arthritis is the degradation of joint tissues over time. This may simply be due to the aging process. As we age, tissues tend to break down more rapidly than new cells can replace them. Why? How can we halt this progressive tissue loss as we age? Who is most at risk and why do some older individuals have rampant arthritis while others are arthritis-free?


These are a few of the questions scientists in this field are trying to answer. All forms of arthritis tend to manifest more prevalently in the elderly including osteoarthritis, gout, and autoimmune arthritis like rheumatoid arthritis.


Scientists are seeking answers to what happens to both our joint tissues and our immune systems as we age. Are the answers in our genes? Does it have to do with what we eat and how we process it, or even the air we breathe?

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