Ankylosing Spondylitis

Ankylosing spondylitis is arthritis that affects the spine. It often involves redness, heat, swelling, and pain in the spine or in the joint where the bottom of the spine joins the pelvic bone.

Arthritis

"Arthritis" means joint inflammation. Although joint inflammation is a symptom or sign rather than a specific diagnosis, the term arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints.

Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases

Arthritis is often used to refer to any disorder that affects the joints. Rheumatic diseases usually affect joints, tendons, ligaments, bones, and muscles.

Autoimmune Diseases

Autoimmune diseases happen when your immune cells attack your body by mistake. These diseases can affect almost any part of the body.

Autoinflammatory Diseases

Autoinflammatory diseases cause your immune cells to attack your body by mistake. Autoinflammatory diseases cause your immune cells to attack your body by mistake. This can cause fever, rash, joint swelling, and more.

Behçet’s Disease

Behçet’s disease is a chronic condition that causes mouth or genital sores, and inflammation in parts of the eye.

Bursitis

Bursitis is a common condition that causes swelling and pain around muscles and bones.

Giant Cell Arteritis

Giant cell arteritis causes the arteries of the scalp and neck to become red, hot, swollen, or painful. The arteries most affected are those in the temples on either side of the head.

Gout

Gout is a kind of arthritis that causes painful and stiff joints. Gout is caused by the build up of crystals of uric acid in your joints.

Hip Replacement Surgery

Hip replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a hip joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts.

Joint Replacement Surgery

Joint replacement surgery removes damaged or diseased parts of a joint and replaces them with new, man-made parts. 

Juvenile Arthritis

Juvenile arthritis is the term used to describe arthritis in children. Arthritis is caused by inflammation of the joints.

Knee Problems

Knee problems happen when you injure or develop disease in your knee and it can’t do its job.

Lupus

Lupus happens when the body’s defense system attacks healthy cells and tissues, instead of viruses and bacteria. This can damage many parts of the body.

Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis damages the slippery tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. This allows bones to rub together. The rubbing causes pain, swelling, and loss of motion of the joint.

Polymyalgia Rheumatica

Polymyalgia rheumatica causes muscle pain and stiffness in the neck, shoulder, and hip.

Psoriatic Arthritis

Psoriatic arthritis can occur in people who have psoriasis (scaly red and white patches). It affects the joints and areas where tissues attach to bone.

Reactive Arthritis

Reactive arthritis is pain or swelling in a joint that is caused by an infection in your body. You may also have red, swollen eyes and a swollen urinary tract.

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis is a disease that affects your joints. It causes pain, swelling, and stiffness.

Scleroderma

Scleroderma is the name for a group of diseases that cause patches of tight, hard skin. Some forms of scleroderma can also damage your blood vessels and internal organs.

Shoulder Problems

Most shoulder problems happen when soft tissues in the shoulder region break down.

Sjögren’s Syndrome

Sjögren’s syndrome is a disease that affects the glands that make moisture. It most often causes dryness in the mouth and eyes.

Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (Lupus)

Lupus happens when the body’s defense system attacks healthy cells and tissues, instead of viruses and bacteria. This can damage many parts of the body.

Tendinitis

Tendinitis is swelling and pain in a joint. It is a common condition, usually caused by repeated injuries to a tendon, the part of the joint that connects muscles to bones.

Selected Research Areas

Richard Siegel portrait image

Autoimmunity Branch

Led by Dr. Richard Siegel, the branch investigates autoimmunity, a feature of rheumatic diseases, such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and dermatomyositis.
Michael J. Ombrello portrait image

Translational Genetics and Genomics Unit

Led by Dr. Michael Ombrello, the unit uses genomic approaches to understand the underlying factors of autoinflammatory and rheumatic diseases.

Arthritis and Rheumatic Disease News

Research Brief | January 9, 2017

Tofacitinib Shows Potential for Treating Lupus

A drug that effectively treats rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and can improve symptoms in other autoimmune diseases may also control the symptoms associated with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE or lupus) and potentially slow the disease’s progression.
Spotlight on Research | August 23, 2016

Immune Cell’s Role in Rheumatoid Arthritis-Induced Bone Loss Revealed

Investigators supported in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (N

Spotlight on Research | May 21, 2016

Same Immune Regulatory Protein Found to Play Instrumental Role in Two Hereditary Autoinflammatory Diseases

Research funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) has revealed a new role for A20, a protein that regulates a key immune response pathway, in certain early-onset autoinflammatory diseases. The results suggest that targeting this pathway could be an effective strategy for treating these diseases, and possibly related conditions, as well.
Spotlight on Research | April 21, 2016

Study Suggests Most Women With Mild to Moderate Lupus Can Expect to Have Healthy Pregnancies

A large, long-term study among women with lupus has yielded important insights into how to predict who may develop pregnancy complications associated with the disease, and who is most likely to have a healthy pregnancy. A related study identified key factors that may put a woman at risk for problems, allowing for early detection and monitoring.
Research Brief | February 23, 2016

Mitochondria Found to Play Instrumental Role in NET Formation and Autoimmune Disease

Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) are web-like structures that immune cells called neutrophils use to ensnare and kill microbes such as bacteria or fungi. Some evidence suggests that NETs, which contain an individual’s own cellular proteins and DNA, can trigger an immune reaction to these "self" components and promote autoimmunity.
Announcement | January 13, 2016

NIH Announces Publication of Action Plan for Lupus Research

In response to a request from the Congressional Lupus Caucus, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has released an Action Plan for Lupus Research. This report was a collaborative effort, led by the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) on behalf of the NIH. It represents a synthesis of internal and external input on promising future research directions to improve the lives of people with lupus.