Researchers Identify Potential Biomarker for Serious Scleroderma Complication

Summary Researchers have linked a small signaling molecule to pulmonary dysfunction in systemic sclerosis (scleroderma), a chronic autoimmune disease, according to a study funded in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS). The findings, which appeared in Arthritis & Rheumatology, suggest that the molecule, CCL2, could help identify patients at greatest risk of developing pulmonary problems and represents a potential new therapeutic target for the disease. Background Scleroderma is characterized by scarring of the skin and internal organs, such as the kidneys, heart and lungs. The disease’s severity and symptoms vary widely, but

Arthritis Drug Found to Relieve Chronic Itch in Proof-of-Concept Study

Summary Working in mice, scientists supported in part by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) have found that two molecules involved in the inflammatory response also directly activate itch-sensing neurons and trigger the itch sensation. Blocking the molecules’ effects with a medicine used to treat rheumatoid arthritis provided relief in a group of patients experiencing chronic itch that had not responded to other treatments. The findings, which appeared in Cell , suggest that targeting inflammatory pathways could lead to new ways to treat neuronal conditions like chronic itch. Background Chronic itch is the primary

Updated Estimates Suggest a Higher Number of U.S. Adults with Arthritis

Summary About 91 million U.S. adults may have some form of arthritis, according to a new statistical analysis of data from a self-reported national survey from 2015. This estimate is 68 percent higher than the previously reported estimate for arthritis—a term that includes multiple conditions that affect the joints, tissues around the joints, and other connective tissues. Further research based on other surveys, along with data based on direct observation and clinical diagnosis by medical professionals, will help refine these estimates and monitor arthritis prevalence in the future. Background Arthritis is a leading cause of disability. Knowing how many people

NIAMS Update — June 7, 2018

*/ /*--> */ /*--> */ /*--> */ SPOTLIGHT Guest Director’s Letter: Integrating the Patient’s Voice in Drug Development and Regulatory Decision Making Dear Colleagues: It is my pleasure to introduce Theresa M. Mullin, Ph.D., Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives at the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). Dr. Mullin leads the Patient-Focused Drug Development initiative, which includes work related to the FDA Reauthorization Act and implementation of the 21st Century Cures Act. She also oversees CDER's International Program. Read more. Image: Theresa M. Mullin, Ph.D. NEWS Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 Funding Plan The NIAMS Fiscal Year (FY) 2018

NIAMS Community Outreach Bulletin — Spring 2018

*/ /*--> */ /*--> */ /*--> */ Feature Story Help All of Us Reach Your Community We are calling on national, regional and local organizations to become partners in the All of Us program. The goal of this unprecedented effort is to create the largest publicly accessible database ever by gathering data on more than one million Americans to help find cures and better treatments for a wide range of conditions. Learn more , and encourage members of your community to participate . You will help researchers acquire practical insight about different diseases. By understanding people’s health, ethnicities, neighborhoods, families

NIH researchers crack mystery behind rare bone disorder

Study finds gene mutations that cause “dripping candle wax” bone disease. Researchers at the National Institutes of Health worked with 15 patients from around the world to uncover a genetic basis of “dripping candle wax” bone disease. The rare disorder, known as melorheostosis, causes excess bone formation that resembles dripping candle wax on x-rays. The results, appearing in Nature Communications, offer potential treatment targets for this rare disease, provide important clues about bone development, and may lead to insights about fracture healing and osteoporosis. Though there are only about 400 known cases of this disorder worldwide, 15 unrelated adults with

Early Antiretroviral Therapy in HIV Patients Tied to Bone Mineral Density Loss

Antiretroviral treatment (ART) for HIV-positive patients is associated with a greater loss of bone mineral density -- a major risk factor for bone fractures -- than for those who delay ART, according to a recent international study. The work, cofunded by the NIH’s National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), suggests the need for more research on battling the loss of bone mineral density in people with HIV. The results are from a substudy, with approximately 400 patients, of the NIH-supported Strategic Timing of Antiretrovial Treatment (START)
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