Validating the use of body fluid proteins to predict outcome in juvenile idiopathic arthritis
Dr David Gibson
Type of grant
Queen's University Belfast
Grant reference number
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
What are the aims of this research?
To determine whether specific proteins in the blood can predict the outcome of disease in children with juvenile idiopathic arthritis.
Why is this research important?
Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) varies greatly in its scope and severity. Currently, there is no way to predict the outcome of the disease when a child is first diagnosed. This causes great anxiety and uncertainty for patients and their families, and makes the selection of appropriate and timely treatments very difficult for clinicians. In a previous study, we identified a number of proteins in the body fluids of children at the beginning of their disease that correctly predicted disease outcome at two years. The purpose of this study is to confirm these findings in another group of children with JIA in Northern Ireland, and in an independent group in the USA presenting with early, untreated JIA.
How will the findings benefit patients?
Confirmation of the relationship between these blood proteins and the outcomes of JIA will help us to develop a simple blood test that could be used to predict outcome at the time a child is diagnosed. This would help clinicians to make the best treatment choices at the earliest possible opportunity, so that the potential for disability as the disease progresses is reduced. It will also help to inform and reassure patients and their families about the course that the disease is likely to take.