rheumatoid arthritis

Latest Developments in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

Latest Developments in Rheumatoid Arthritis Treatment

The treatment options for this chronic, inflammatory type of arthritis (rheumatoid arthritis) are ever-evolving.

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) affects approximately 1.5 million people in the United States or about 0.6% of the population. It is a progressive condition that, without proper treatment, can worsen over time.

In recent years, researchers have made considerable progress with new treatments that help relieve RA symptoms and slow the progression of the disease. They may even be closer to eventually finding a cure.

Promising new treatments for Rheumatoid Arthritis

The medications and therapies for treating RA continue to evolve. Scientists are regularly testing new treatments to provide more effective options, help more people find symptom relief, and prevent disease progression.

Doctors have used traditional disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), such as methotrexate, to treat RA for decades. These drugs work by suppressing the overactive immune system as a whole.

Biologics, a newer option, are a targeted type of DMARD. Available as injections or intravenous infusions, these drugs work by targeting specific parts of the immune system to block inflammation.

The newest RA drugs to gain Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval are called Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitors. They work by blocking a very specific pathway to stop a person’s immune system from creating certain enzymes that can lead to RA. These medications come in pill form, and people can use them in combination with some other RA drugs.

He also explained that “there are many new mechanisms of action being studied right now that have the potential to change the RA treatment landscape as well.” In other words, people with RA may start to see some newer, possibly even more effective, JAK inhibitor treatments in the not-too-distant future.

How has research affected treatments?

As more treatment options become available, doctors can recommend individualized approaches and interventions.

“Developing a treatment plan must be individualized to every patient with RA,” explained Dr. Robert

“Treatment strategies remain extremely individualized based on patient desires, characteristics, and comorbidities,” added Dr. William.

“With so much research and funding currently available on this topic, rheumatologists must constantly analyze the data and keep up to date on the latest developments,” said Dr.William.

He went on to state, “We can identify which therapies perhaps work better than others. We are also able to identify certain side effects or nuances with certain drugs that make them more or less appropriate for individual patients.”

Dr. Koval went on to further explain, “Current research has provided evidence for [the] use of additional treatment options when first-line pharmacologic agents prove inadequate for a patient. In these circumstances, using a treatment that affects different biologic pathways has shown to be an effective approach in my clinical practice.”

Will there ever be a cure?

Currently, there is no cure for rheumatoid arthritis. Doctors use the latest treatments to help people with RA manage their symptoms and prevent the disease from progressing.

When asked about the possibility of a cure, Dr.William indicated a positive outlook. “Seeing how far we have come with RA in just the [past] 30 years, it makes me encouraged that we will one day find a cure. Science and technology [have] and Robert felt more cautiously optimistic. “It is not clear if or when we will have a ‘cure’ for RA,” he stated. “There is significant research going on to better help us understand the causes and mechanisms that lead to RA, perhaps helping us reach that lofty goal in the future.”

Even without a cure on the immediate horizon, it is possible to achieve sustained remission, or freedom from disease activity, and to prevent joint damage.

Takeaway

Researchers are constantly looking for new and improved ways to treat and manage RA. People with RA should talk with a doctor about their options.

Although there is currently no cure for RA, there is hope. The goal of treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent the progression of the disease. It may even be possible to enter remission.

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