The Researcher’s Summary:
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common cause of inflammatory arthritis, with a peak onset age of about 50 years. Some children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) test positive for blood markers seen in adults with RA. Children with JIA that is identical to adult RA can be described as having Childhood Onset Rheumatoid Arthritis (CORA). We believe that studying children with CORA will help identify genetic and environmental factors predisposing to RA.
To date, more than 30 genetic variants that increase the risk of developing RA have been identified; however, most of these genes have not been studied in children. We aim to test whether these variants also predispose to CORA, and seek to identify different subsets of patients with CORA in order to advance personalized medicine in RA.
Our proposal seeks to utilize the CARRA Registry to identify and enroll children with CORA. Grouping children into subsets of CORA based on genetic biomarkers has the prospect of aiding future development of personalized medicine in RA and CORA. In addition, we will investigate whether specific bacterial communities are associated with the natural history of CORA. We believe our study will significantly improve our understanding of CORA and therefore allow for future innovation in the diagnosis and targeted treatment of the disease.