Sunday, April 19, 2009

Gene research

4/16/2009, 6:53 p.m. EDT

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center announced
Thursday the discovery of the first genetic marker for juvenile arthritis,
which could ultimately lead to improvements in treatment for children with
the disease.

Dr. James Jarvis, who discovered the biomarker with a team of scientists at
the OU College of Medicine, said it can be used to predict whether a child's
arthritis is in remission. That is critical, Jarvis said, because many
children endure painful arthritic relapses when they stop taking medicine
too soon.

"These kids may lose months of their lives at a time, which can make a huge
difference in what happens to them," Jarvis said.

The team's research appears in the medical journal "Arthritis and

By identifying the biomarker, OU scientists now can move toward developing a
test for remission that would allow doctors to know when a child is ready to
stop taking medication, Jarvis said.

"We will be able to take a child as soon as he or she is diagnosed, do a
test and then say, 'You need these two medicines and not this one,'" Jarvis

Jarvis said it could be as many as five years before a gene profile becomes
part of the standard care for juvenile arthritis patients.

© 2009 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.


Kristin said...

Cool article. Where did you find it?

Amy Cunningham said...

What would we do without YOU doing all this research for us?? Thank you Jo :D