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Arthritis Research Canada/Arthrite-recherche Canada is celebrating 25 years of arthritis research. During this time, our scientific team has been tackling challenges faced by over 6 million Canadians living with arthritis – challenges that can interfere with everyday life.

Through 100+ research projects, we are finding ways to help prevent arthritis, diagnose people earlier, manage symptoms, provide new and better treatments and improve overall quality of life.

Interested to find out what our research looks like in action? Please click the “Learn More” buttons below for additional information.

2S/LGBTQQIA+ Patients In Research

People from the 2SLGBTQIA+ communities are often not included in arthritis research. By creating an Advisory Committee this research will engage with these communities to better understand diverse perspectives on living with chronic pain. 

Improving Access to Care for People with Arthritis

In Alberta, people with Inflammatory Arthritis struggle to get appointments with their family doctors or rheumatologists promptly when new needs arise. This study will analyze existing data to help recommend improvements in patient care within the healthcare system.

Biologics During Pregnancy

Previous research has shown that biologics, used to treat arthritis, can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of infections ranging from mild to serious. This study investigated whether the use of biologics during pregnancy resulted in more infections for mothers in the period after delivery and for babies during their first year of life.

Mental Health Of Parents Living With Arthritis

Autoimmune rheumatic diseases present challenges including a higher risk of developing mental health illnesses such as depression and anxiety. This study will advance the limited knowledge base on the mental health of mothers and fathers living with autoimmune rheumatic diseases during the early parenting years.

Cannabis Use by People Living with Arthritis

Little research has been conducted evaluating cannabis use specifically in people with arthritis. This study explored how arthritis symptoms and other factors, differ between people with arthritis who use cannabis regularly and those who don’t. This information can help us understand why people with arthritis choose to use cannabis and how it may affect their disease

 

Understanding the Effects of Arthritis Medication on Cancer Patients

Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICI) activate the immune system to fight cancer but can cause a reaction against the tissues leading to inflammatory arthritis. In this study, scientists will conduct a clinical trial testing whether an arthritis medication is effective in “turning off” arthritis caused by ICI, while preventing long-term joint inflammation, and allowing ongoing cancer treatment.

Improving How Arthritis Care Is Delivered

How people receive care for their inflammatory arthritis is outdated and does not meet their needs. With the help of patients and health care providers, we are co-designing an innovative way of delivering care called FlexCAre, which will use new technology to monitor people’s health and deliver care tailored to each person’s needs.

 

Measuring Healthcare for People with Rheumatoid Arthritis

Early rheumatoid arthritis treatment helps people with this disease live longer and have a better quality of life. This project will develop the “Alberta Rheumatology Learning Health System”, a tool designed to improve rheumatology care.

Predicting Risk of Heart Disease for People with Lupus

Cardiovascular diseases, such as heart attack and stroke, are more common in people with systemic lupus erythematosus. This study aims to develop and test a tool that will improve the accuracy of predicting each person’s the risk of heart attacks and strokes, in people with lupus.

 

COVID-19 Risks for Immunocompromised People

Ongoing research is needed on the safety and effectiveness of multiple doses of COVID vaccines in people with auto-immune diseases who are taking drugs that suppress the immune system. This study will compare the safety and effectiveness of different types of booster COVID-19 vaccines in people with systemic autoimmune disease treated with rituximab.

Reducing Frailty in Older Adults

Physical frailty in older adults occurs when they reduce their daily activities and lose some of their physical function causing an impact on their overall health. This project will provide physical activity counselling, based on the new Canadian 24-hour Movement Guidelines, to older adults with chronic conditions who are at an early state of frailty. 

Rheumatoid Arthritis and “On Demand” Care

Rheumatologist follow-up appointments are scheduled at fixed intervals for convenience, leaving little time for last minute appointments at times of urgent need. This study aims to create and test a ‘patient-initiated’ model of delivering care where patients will be followed by their family doctor when their disease is stable, and arrange rheumatology follow-up visits when needed, rather than at fixed pre-determined intervals.

Arthritis Treatment & Children 

By better understanding the biological characteristics of each child’s arthritis, we could help select the biologic therapy most likely to be effective for that child. This study will develop tools, using various blood markers, genetics, and clinical information, to predict which drug a child is more likely to respond to, and when it can be stopped with little chances of the disease coming back.

Importance of Strength Training

Strength training has a lot of important benefits for people with rheumatoid arthritis. This project is aimed at finding out what helps people with rheumatoid arthritis take up and maintain strength training and develop effective strategies for people to take part in this type of activity in order to improve their health.

Preventing Hip Osteoarthritis

One of the risk factors for hip osteoarthritis is a condition called femoroacetabular impingement (FAI). This study will examine the link between FAI and the risk of developing future osteoarthritis, and how different types of physical activity modify that risk.

 

Lupus & the Brain

A better understanding of what causes cognitive impairment in people with lupus and how it evolves is needed to identify adequate treatment options. This study will use state-of-the-art MRI scans of the brain to measure the leakiness of the blood-brain barrier, to see how it changes over time and how it corresponds to fluctuations in cognitive function.

A Personalized Decision Tool for Rheumatoid Arthritis

Choosing the ‘best’ treatment option for each patient should be based on the most up-to date data about its effectiveness and safety, and individualized to the specific situation of each person, as well as patient preferences. This study will develop a personalized decision tool to help patients choose the best treatment option for them.

Want to support this and other life-changing arthritis research projects?