Research

Research

Investing in arthritis research to create a better future for women

The safety of biologics in pregnancy 

Dr. Mary De Vera, University of British Columbia 

The finding: Biologics – innovative medicines made by living cells – have transformed treatment for rheumatoid arthritis (RA), but more research into their benefits and risks for pregnant women is needed. Researchers showed that the use of biologic medications before or during pregnancy was not linked to preterm delivery or small babies — two key birth complications. 

The future: This is an important step in understanding the safety and impact of biologics in pregnancy. Further research will help women with RA make informed treatment decisions around family planning.

To read more on Dr. De Vera’s research, click here.

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Why women’s arthritis pain is different

Dr. Jason McDougall, Dalhousie University

The finding: While most of today’s pain medications target inflammation, some people with arthritis have pain that stems from nerve damage. This is especially true for women. Researchers studied nerve-related pain and showed that a potential drug that blocked nerve pain was more effective in females. 

The future: This research helps unravel why existing painkillers may not work well for women – who get arthritis more often than men – and could lead to a new, more targeted pain treatment.

Women, knee osteoarthritis and mobility

Q&A with Dr. Monica Maly, University of Waterloo

The study, co-authored by Anthony Gatti and Nick Brisson of McMaster University and supervised by Dr Monica Maly, associate professor in the department of kinesiology at the University of Waterloo, focused on women because they are more prone to knee OA, and it often has a bigger impact on their mobility.

The finding: Women with more pain and less confidence in their abilities had worse mobility two years later, regardless of their knee muscle strength. 

The future: What does this mean for women with knee OA? Strategies to maintain mobility should focus on pain control and increasing confidence, which in turn can boost mobility. In other words, empowerment can be a key tool to help women with knee OA successfully manage their disease.

To learn more about this study, click here.

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