Polymialgia Rheumatica Treatment and Research
Scientists are always making new discoveries regarding polymialgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis. The following issues are being studied:
For polymialgia scientists are looking for alternative without the side effects. The national center for research resources is looking at whether high doses of intravenous corticosteroids given early in the diagnosis can control symptoms more quickly, therefore allowing lower doses to follow and a lower overall consumption of drugs and thus side effects.
Causes and mechanisms.
Genetic influences, immune system problems and environmental factors are all being studied as possible causes. Researchers at the national eye institute are attempting to better understand the immunobiology of inflamed arteries and understand the initiating events of vasculitis. They are also looking into the interactions between the immune system and blood vessels and to explain the damaged tissue.
By comparing healthy and affected populations researchers are starting to understand some factors that are associated with both the prognosis and manifestations of the disease. Early research has shown that women are more likely than men to have jaw involvement in giant cell arteritis, while in men the eye is more commonly affected.
Large scale studies as part of the national institute of health rare diseases clinical research network clinical and laboratory information from patients with giant cell arteritis is collected. This data will be studied looking for genetic links and causative factors, finding new ways to track the disease and predictive responses, potential treatment options and much more.