$3.4 million committed to 18 new arthritis research projects

September 9, 2014

New projects include smartphone app to manage pain in kids

The Arthritis Society today announced the commitment of $3.4 million in funding for arthritis research across Canada this year. The funding will be used to fund both established researchers as well as provide young investigators with their first opportunities to explore novel ideas within the field of arthritis research. A total of 18 new projects will be funded.

“Canadians with arthritis should know that we are fast approaching real answers to questions that have puzzled arthritis researchers for decades,” says Joanne Simons, chief mission officer at The Arthritis Society. “More sophisticated equipment and advanced technology have enabled us to study disease development and progression more accurately than ever.”

Each year, The Arthritis Society funds exceptional research projects that show the most promise to deliver practical solutions for people with arthritis and to find the cure for this disease. These new grants carry awards that last up to three years. Highlights of the 2014-15 research awards include:
  • Using a mobile phone to ease arthritis pain: Dr. Jennifer Stinson (The Hospital for Sick Children) will study how a smartphone app could help young Canadians with arthritis manage their own pain levels
  • How we walk, and what it means for osteoarthritis: Dr. Shawn Robbins (McGill University) plans to study differences in gait between people with knee osteoarthritis of varying severity, and determine how the way we walk impacts the progression of this common disease.
  • Stopping clogged arteries in people with rheumatoid arthritis: Dr. Lillian Barra (Western University) will track whether two novel approaches could reveal what makes people with rheumatoid arthritis more susceptible to accelerated atherosclerosis (hardened, narrowed arteries).
  • Using enzymes to reduce pain and inflammation: Milind Muley (Dalhousie University) will attempt to unlock secrets to osteoarthritis pain and inflammation by studying the role of “proteinases” (enzymes that break down proteins) in the process.
The Arthritis Society also directed $300,000 toward Canadian medical schools that will help further develop research at local arthritis centres across the country and enhance the training of new rheumatologists at teaching hospitals. The Society is also teaming up with the Canadian Institutes of Health Research on a trio of major inflammation-focused studies, to be announced at a later date.

The Arthritis Society has now invested nearly $190 million in the most promising research into arthritis and chronic pain.

ABOUT THE ARTHRITIS SOCIETY

The Arthritis Society has been setting lives in motion for over 65 years. Dedicated to a vision of living well while creating a future without arthritis, The Society is Canada's principal health charity providing education, programs and support to the over 4.6 million Canadians living with arthritis. Since its founding in 1948, The Society has been the largest non‐government funder of arthritis research in Canada, investing nearly $190 million in projects that have led to breakthroughs in the diagnosis, treatment and care of people with arthritis. The Arthritis Society is accredited under Imagine Canada's Standards Program. For more information and to make a donation, visit www.arthritis.ca.

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For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Douglas Emerson
National Manager, Communications – The Arthritis Society
tel: 416-979-3348 x3349
cell: 647-706-0440
email: demerson@arthritis.ca