JUVENILE ARTHRITIS RESEARCH- Seeking control over unchecked inflammation

Juvenile Arthritis Treatment

JUVENILE ARTHRITIS RESEARCH- Seeking control over unchecked inflammation

Many think that arthritis is a disease that impacts the elderly but there are around 300,000 American children with juvenile arthritis. In addition to the effect it has on joints, it can cause eye inflammation and growth problems. Other symptoms include fevers and rash.

Pui Y Lee (Md, PhD) – mTORC1 in the pathogenesis of systemic juvenile idiopathic arthritis

Cells playing broken telephone

Our cells talk to each other in order to ensure they’re on the same page in how they respond to what the body needs. Occasionally wires get crossed and our cells don’t understand what the other is saying, a bit like playing broken telephone as a child. Inflammation is a necessary protective response by cells to prevent further injury or damage. In children with sJIA it seems that some cells are constantly shouting for help even when it is no longer needed, leading to excessive inflammation. Dr Lee hopes to determine which cells in sJIA children won’t stop talking. Medications that help these cells to realize they no longer need to shout already exist, so it is possible a new sJIA medication could be feasible in a short time frame.


Dr. Lauren Henderson (MD, MMSc) – The Function & Autoreactivity of Th1 Polarized & Clonally Expanded Tregs in Oligo JIA

A case of mistaken identity

Our immune systems need to be able to identify cells which our own and those which are foreign. A special type of immune cell – regulatory T cells help our bodies to know which are which. They act like scouts in the army identifying when a foreign army is on the attack. Sometimes these regulatory T cells make mistakes, thinking that our own cells are foreign invaders that need to be delt with accordingly. Dr Henderson hopes to identify why this happens in oligo JIA patients and if there is a way to help these T cells to better recognize our own cells as belonging to our own army to prevent unnecessary attacks on them.

Article Author
Arthritis National Research Foundation

The Arthritis National Research Foundation's mission is to provide initial research funding to brilliant, investigative scientists with new ideas to cure arthritis and related autoimmune diseases. There are several ways to support research through the ANRF. Find out more and donate today.

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