The Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region recently conducted their first Juvenile Arthritis focused “Ask a Doc” arthritis Q&A session on Facebook. This live conversation allowed anyone to present any arthritis-related question to Dr. Patricia Hobday and Dr. Richard Vehe, Pediatric Rheumatologists with University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital, to which they would give a medical professional answer.
If you missed it, you can read the entire transcript below. We plan to have many more in 2014, so stay tuned!
Welcome, to “Ask a Doc” – a LIVE arthritis Q&A session on Facebook! You can post your questions right here in the comments section of this photo and the doctors will answer them in real time.
Dr. Richard Vehe and Dr. Patty Hobday with University of Minnesota Amplatz Children’s Hospital are with us today to answer your arthritis questions one at a time.
Andrea asked: “Is there any research on long term effects of biologic drugs?”
There is research on going as we speak. There is an enhanced drug safety study (required by the Federal Drug Administration–FDA) that has been completed by our national pediatric rheumatology alliance (CARRA-Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance) and we continue to collect data.
CARRA is currently working with the FDA and pharmaceutical companies to develop a standardized way of tracking outcomes so that even rare side effects are caught.
Trish asked: What are the most common complaints from kids with arthritis?
Things can pop up in different ways at different ages. For little kids they might not complain (a parent might just see swelling or stiffness), or they might say their leg is tired, and sometimes say “owie” and point.
For older kids, swelling and stiffness after rest are still common, but sometimes there more pointed complaints for pain. Loss of grip strength or trouble writing is especially common when the fingers or wrists are involved.
Shawn asked: Why does the disease sometimes impact only a few joints and not all of them?
That is a very good question. We know that there are genetic differences between different types of JIA that predispose to a certain pattern of joint involvement. As to why, say, a child with oligoarticular JIA (few joint JIA) only has one knee affected, but not the other knee or other joints in their body affected, that is not known exactly. – Dr. Hobday
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If you have further questions, feel free to call our Arthritis Resource Center at (800) 333-1380 or visit www.arthritis.org.