Rheumatoid arthritis is a long-term inflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible joints. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated. The disease often leads to the destruction of cartilage and fusion of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce inflammation in areas of the body including the lungs, membrane around the heart, and white of the eye.
Feinstein Institute researchers are conducting studies on rheumatoid arthritis to identify genes that affect the disease or predispose people to the disease. They are also working to identify targets for the development of new therapies. Feinstein Institute researchers recently reported the first successful clinical trial demonstrating that vagus nerve stimulation can be effective in people with rheumatoid arthritis who are resistant to the drug metrotrexate.
Feinstein Institute investigators conducting arthritis research include Cynthia Aranow; Anne Davidson; Clifford S. Deutschman; Richard Alan Furie; Daniel A. Grande; Peter K. Gregersen; Annette T. Lee; Meggan Mackay; Frances Santiago-Schwarz; Kim R. Simpfendorfer; Kevin J. Tracey; Haichao Wang and Ping Wang.