Rheumatoid Arthritis Patient Awareness INitiative (RA-PAIN)

Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is a common autoimmune condition that causes disability for patient's day-to-day tasks. New medications that target bad molecules or cells improve outcomes, however responses may be limited or side effects may occur. Who will develop RA, get severe disease or respond to current treatments is not known. Studies suggest that the presence of specific autoantibodies (anti-citrullinated proteins-ACPA) in the blood of patients with RA is associated with increased bone destruction. Thus, depending on autoantibody status, patients may have different rates of progression and may respond to different therapies. Interestingly, these autoantibodies can be present years before onset of clinical disease. Our study aims to identify if immune cell function and gene expression differs in RA patients that are ACPA+ vs ACPA-, in addition to 'pre-RA' subjects which will provide valuable insight into the diagnosis and prognosis of RA patients early in disease. The success of our research relies on the involvement of patients and their families, however many patients don't understand their clinical status, autoantibody levels or how their drugs work. Therefore this KEDS award will establish a series of national workshops involving patients, families and the wider community. The workshops will be designed to inform and engage all participants to ensure optimal understanding of the risk factors, their clinical status and how their current treatment strategies work. This will encourage patients to get involved in innovative research that aims to develop a stratified treatment approach for patients, thus impacting significantly on patient care and our healthcare-system.

Award Date
27 September 2018
Award Value
Principal Investigator
Professor Ursula Fearon
Host Institution
Trinity College Dublin
Knowledge Exchange and Dissemination Scheme