A study conducted in Europe has found seven new groups of defective genes which may be cause rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Rheumatoid arthritis is a painful and disabling disease that affects the joints. The findings of the European study have been compared to a study conducted in Japan, which identified one of the seven genetic groups as possibly causing the chronic inflammatory disease among Japanese. Researchers will use the findings to better understand the biology of RA and use this information to develop new treatments. The information will also be used to develop better genetic tests for people at risk for RA, such as arthritis patients or relatives of patients with autoimmune disorders. RA affects about 1 percent of the world's population and also affects the skin, heart, lungs and kidneys as well as the joints.
This article is of particular interest to me because RA has had a huge impact on my family. Several of my family members have RA or some other autoimmune disorder, including my Grandmother, Aunt and Mom. My Great Aunt died from complication of RA right after I was born. With such a strong family history I worry that I may be affected by RA at some point. I think that it is really great that research is being done to find more information for this horrible disorder, the more that is know about the disorder the better. Hopefully, researchers will be able to use this new information to come up with a cure or at least better treatments. I have seen first had the suffering this disorder caused and hope that a cure will be found soon.