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Rheumatoid Arthritis Underfunded and Decreased Awareness


Pre-Knowledge Poll Questions (Try not to look at answers):

Rheumatoid Arthritis Affects…

Joints Only
Muscles, Tendons, and Tissues
Joints and Bones
Affects Joints, Muscles, Tendons, and Tissues
Rheumatoid Arthritis Is No Big Deal

True
False

1) D 2) B

What is Rheumatoid Arthritis, and why is it a pressing issue/concern?

Rheumatoid Arthritis is a progressive disease that causes inflammation in the joints and painful deformity and immobility, especially in the fingers, wrists, feet, and ankles. Elderly individuals experience constant pain from this condition. A lot of things that they used to do like drive, shop, and actively exercise, they cannot do those things anymore, or as often. It is not pleasant seeing how limited the elderly are. They should be able to do whatever they want to do and not be weighed down because of a chronic condition. It is a pressing issue because of the suffering they are experiencing each and every day, and want more people to become aware of what is happening. The elderly should pass away as happy as they can be with no suffering but with joy and excitement. they could live longer lives with treatment options and research advancements.

Why is funding so important to Rheumatoid Arthritis research?

There have been several research breakthroughs because of funding from the Arthritis National Research Foundation. Stem cell research and development may make joint replacement surgery unnecessary. Joint replacement surgery puts patients at a 31% increase for the chance of heart attacks after the surgery is done because of the significant increase and risk for several blood clot formations after surgery. Also, researchers are really close to being able to extract stem cells of the patient to replace knee meniscus tissue. With stem cell research, patients would not have to worry about this unsettling risk.

Another research breakthrough is that scientists found a natural molecule in the body that regulates the growth of cartilage. If we can somehow recreate this molecule or draw it out of people who would donate, it can be placed into the affected patient helping them regrow their cartilage. This can reduce the need for surgery and other invasive procedures.

Nanotechnology can be used to help deliver arthritis medication to the affected areas of the Rheumatoid Arthritis affected patient. By only targeting specific locations, this reduces a lot of side effects, and it helps make the treatments a lot more effective.

Lastly, a couple treatments are now in clinical trials. One is where scientists isolated polypeptides from a sea anemone that may the be the innovation of arthritis treatment. This could help form and significantly strengthen the polypeptide bonds surrounding the joints and affected areas. There has also been advancements in gout therapy. This therapy will greatly suppress inflammation and control pain in Rheumatoid Arthritis, which is the main suffering from this condition.

Why is there much less awareness and funding for Rheumatoid Arthritis? 

The main reason for this is that people do not know what Rheumatoid Arthritis is, and they think that it is only in the joint. People say that the affected individuals look healthy, and it appears nothing is wrong with them, but on the inside, they are dealing with a great deal of pain. It can be said in this case, do not judge a book by its cover, for they may be fighting their battles within. Rheumatoid Arthritis is not just in the joints, it can affect the whole body: tissue, muscle, and tendons. There is not enough funding because not enough people are well, or even decently, educated about Rheumatoid Arthritis. If more researchers focused on one of the world’s most pressing conditions for elderly individuals, we could have found a cure by now. But for now, the best we can do is find treatment options to take the pain and side effects away. More funding and awareness education needs to be done to find a cure!

How many people are affected and are suffering from Rheumatoid across the nation?

Over 1.5 million people in the United States alone are affected by this condition. It makes me wonder with so many cases, why Rheumatoid Arthritis is not funded as much and why is there even decreased awareness. The majority of affected patients, experience onset Rheumatoid Arthritis with no other family member with this condition. For this reason is why it is important to spread awareness to help patients cope through their condition.

Personal Connection

My step-father’s mother, or my step-grandmother, has rheumatoid arthritis, and seeing that she needs help getting around a lot of the times and carrying certain things like groceries, packages, and such, I just really want to help her – it makes me sad to see her somewhat helpless and go through with the pain that she is experiencing.

What can we do to help increase awareness and funding?

My call to action is to start by setting up info sessions and getting people aware of Rheumatoid Arthritis like going to schools and elderly homes to state getting people educated. I could also start a Go Fund Me page and spread awareness through school activities and having a donation competition with an incentive. I want to spread the news and facts and do the best I can to help make elderly lives a lot more easier. If you have suggestions, please post below.

Here is a link to where you can donate and learn more!

Post-Knowledge Poll (Click “Launch Me,” and try not to look at answers) — There is a chance to leave any comments, suggestions, or general thoughts on this poll!

1) B 2) A 3) D

Works Cited

Arthritis Research We’re Funding

Treatment of Gout

RA Awareness Gaps

https://www.arthritis.org/about-arthritis/types/rheumatoid-arthritis/what-is-rheumatoid-arthritis.php

https://www.everydayhealth.com/news/pros-cons-joint-replacement/

https://g.co/kgs/tWb57k

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COMMENTS: 2
  1. April 27, 2018 by David Long Reply

    What an informative presenation about an issue that many people misunderstand. Well researched and I liked your solutions for attacking this debilitating condition in people. Great job Ilya!

    • April 27, 2018 by Ilya Verekhman Reply

      Thank you so much, Mr. Long!

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