Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) is such a disease where the abnormal body‘s reaction leads to formation of antibodies. We and others have shown that the lungs and the oral cavity (that are exposed to smoking and others pollutants) might be the starting point for the body‘s reactions in RA.
We are developing better tools to identify these persons, such as e-health web based questionnaires. We study how environmental factors interact with the body tissues (lungs and oral cavity) to give rise to disease-associated antibodies and how these antibodies contribute to pain and bone loss. This will allow each person to get more insights into the risk of developing RA and in what one can do self to minimise it.
To characterize the mechanisms responsible for antibody production at mucosal sites (lung and oral mucosa) in order to identify novel mucosal biomarkers that predict RA development.
A common protocol for including individuals and collecting samples, harmonized between centers, have been worked out. So far we have included 39 subjects.
A specific part of the budget (10%) is dedicated to facilitate patient partners participation to meetings and other research activities.
Patient research partners have given feedback and suggested changes have been integrated.
Specifically, patient partners will be involved in developing tools for measuring patient relevant outcomes (pain), for improving recruitment (e-health tools to facilitate access to rheumatology units), for risk communication tools and for implementation of life-style changes (such as apps for quitting smoking and motivate for increased physical activity).