SAA Medical Board Member James Rosenbaum, MD, posed this question in SAA's news magazine, Spondylitis Plus. Since that article was published, SAA has assisted in funding his research to test his hypothesis.
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From the American College of Rheumatology's website, rheumatology.org:
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released new recommendations for the treatment of ankylosing spondylitis (AS) and non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis (SpA). The guideline was developed with the Spondylitis Association of America (SAA) and the Spondyloarthritis Research and Treatment Network. It summarizes recommendations for both pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic treatments, including rehabilitation, management of patients with comorbid conditions, use of certain surgeries, and approaches to patient monitoring.
SAA has seeded a national patient registry on ankylosing spondylitis. By combining three existing patient databases that have been used in research, the composite database can look at thousands and potentially tens of thousands of patients and be able to track health trends, disease severity over time, age, gender, race, and many other factors to improve understanding of the disease.
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The Spondylitis Association of America has funded and helped create a state-of-the-art workshop for rheumatologists and radiologists called "Magnetic Imaging Workshop in Spondyloarthritis (SpA)." The purpose of this certified Continuing Medical Education program is to educate radiologists and rheumatologists in spondyloarthritis imaging and to promote earlier diagnosis in SpA.
SAA has helped fund the research of Joel Taurog, MD, into the association between HLA-B27 and ankylosing spondylitis. Dr. Taurog serves on SAA’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Board.
From Dr. Taurog's profile on the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center website, utsouthwestern.edu:
The goal of Dr. Taurog's research has been to understand the molecular basis for the association of the rheumatic disease called ankylosing spondylitis with the major histocompatibility allele HLA-B27. This MHC class I allele is found in 7 percent of the U.S. population, but in over 90 percent of individuals with ankylosing spondylitis. Of individuals with B27, it is estimated that up to 13 percent will develop ankylosing spondylitis or a related form of spondyloarthritis.
More About Dr. Taurog's Studies
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