Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is the most common type of chronic arthritis caused by the immune system, affecting 1.3 million Americans. It’s a disease that mainly affects young people, so it typically begins at 20 to 40 years of age – but it can occur at any age. It’s characterized by an inflammatory reaction in the joints, which can lead to joint destruction. However, it also can impact other organs in the body, including the lung and heart.
There is no cure for RA. However, advances in rheumatoid arthritis treatment have led to a remarkable improvement in many patients. As a result, early diagnosis and treatment is critical. Fortunately, there have been exciting advancements in rheumatoid arthritis treatment that have slowed the progression of joint damage.
Michael E. Weinblatt, MD, Co-Director of Clinical Rheumatology in the Division of Rheumatology, Immunology and Allergy at Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH), discusses rheumatoid arthritis treatment, along with an overview of promising research being conducted at BWH.