Research Progress Related to Ankylosing Spondylitis
The NIAMS conducts translational and clinical research on the causes and treatment of ankylosing spondylitis. In addition, the NIAMS funds and supports many researchers at universities and other organizations throughout the country who are studying the disease.
Over the last several decades, NIAMS-funded research has greatly increased our understanding of genetics and ankylosing spondylitis, including:
- The discovery of the relationship between ankylosing spondylitis and the HLA-B27 gene, the primary gene involved in the development of the disease.
- The discovery of genes and genetic markers that help scientists understand more about how ankylosing spondylitis develops. These findings can help researchers develop more effective treatments.
- Genetic influences that are associated with risk for ankylosing spondylitis.
Current research focuses on investigating:
- Genetic factors and risks that may influence the severity of the disease.
- How alterations and changes in the immune system are associated with the development of ankylosing spondylitis.
- How the environment and genetics interact and affect the course of the disease.
- If computed tomography (CT) scanning can help monitor the disease.
- New and current medications to treat the disease more effectively.
- The impact of exercise and physical therapy interventions on ankylosing spondylitis.