In Canada, one in 1,000 babies, toddlers and children below age 16 suffer from Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis (JIA), a painful form of inflammatory joint disease and one of the most common, chronic, disabling conditions of childhood. The Canadian Arthritis Network (CAN), The Arthritis Society (TAS) and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research's Institutes of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis (CIHR-IMHA) and Infection and Immunity (CIHR-III) are pleased to announce that Dr. Alan Rosenberg, together with researchers from across Canada, are the recipients of over $1.1 million to study JIA and improve the lives of young arthritis sufferers and their families.
"This new partnership initiative is an important step to building CAN's research program in Inflammatory Joint Diseases (IJD) and we're very excited by the potential outcomes of Dr. Rosenberg's ground-breaking research," comments Dr. Jane Aubin, Scientific Director and CEO of the Canadian Arthritis Network. According to Dr. Rosenberg, "We have assembled an extraordinary group of Canadian scientists who are committed to applying their diverse research experience to improve the health and well-being of children afflicted with arthritis. The dedication and expertise of our team members, generously supported by funding partners, will ensure that our research results will dramatically improve the understanding and care of children with arthritis."Dr. Rosenberg, from the University of Saskatchewan, and his team are studying how the interaction of genes, environment and lifestyle early in the disease process can help predict JIA outcomes such as joint damage and diminished quality of life. As the cause(s) of JIA is unknown, any answers provided by this research, which brings us closer to a cure or prevention, are eagerly anticipated. At one time, JIA was believed to be a form of adult rheumatoid arthritis. With the shift in understanding that JIA is a unique disease, research in this area becomes even more important. Thanks to various academic, government and not-for-profit research institutions contributing an additional $560,000 to the $1.1 million committed by CAN, TAS and CIHR's IMHA and III, Canada moves into a leadership role in the field of JIA research."Our organization is committed to funding the best and brightest arthritis researchers," says John Fleming President and CEO, The Arthritis Society. "Working with our partners, we can fund larger projects, such as Dr. Rosenberg's team, which will aim to ensure that all Canadians and their families affected by JIA have the best available medical care and treatment options." "We are pleased to fund this outstanding research, which stands to improve quality of life for current and future generations of young people affected by arthritis," says Dr. Cy Frank, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis. "The research conducted by Dr. Rosenberg and his team will help further our understanding of JIA, which may ultimately lead to the development of new treatments and prevention techniques," says Dr. Bhagirath Singh, Scientific Director of the CIHR Institute of Infection and Immunity. (Source: Canadian Arthritis Network : November 2006.)