Rheumatic diseases encompass over 100 diseases and conditions characterized primarily by chronic pain and progressive physical impairment of the joints and soft tissues – including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, systemic lupus erythematosus, scleroderma, vasculitis, and gout. By the late 1990s, these conditions were estimated to affect over 43 million Americans and have remained the most prevalent chronic conditions in the U.S. and a leading cause of disability, with potentially severe economic, psychological and social impact.
Currently, no true cures exist for any of these conditions, although recent advances in some fields have significantly improved the effectiveness of available therapies, and have furthered understanding of the underlying mechanism(s) which promote disease pathology. At BRI, research programs study the cells which regulate these diseases in an effort to understand the pathogenesis of these diseases and translate these findings into novel therapeutic targets, and also conduct clinical trials to evaluate novel therapies in these diseases.
For more information on rheumatic diseases at Benaroya Research Institute, search on the disease below.
For more detailed information, see our Arthritis and Allied Diseases Research Fact Sheet.