“Ask a Doc” arthritis Q&A conversation transcript

12.5.13 Ask-a-DocThe 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!

Read the entire transcript here.

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

Read the entire transcript here.

Like the Arthritis Foundation on Facebook to stay in the loop about arthritis news, programs, events and fun!

If you have further questions, feel free to call our Arthritis Resource Center at (800) 333-1380 or visit www.arthritis.org.

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Arthritis Foundation Awards $1 Million Grant to Stop Arthritis After ACL Tears, Sports Injuries

Study includes researchers from Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.

The Arthritis Foundation awarded a $1 million, multi-institutional grant that could revolutionize future treatment for osteoarthritis (OA) and ignite a new era in drug discovery. By studying anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears in the knee, a major risk factor for developing OA, researchers could potentially discover tools and treatments to detect and reverse OA before symptoms ever appear.

An estimated 200,000 people in the U.S. tear an ACL each year, often leading to a diagnosis of OA within 10 to 20 years. OA is the most common form of arthritis that results in disability for many people. Approximately 27 million of the 50 million Americans with arthritis suffer from OA. Presently, there are no medications to slow or stop OA and no tools to identify early stages of the disease.

“ACL injury is an ideal model to study early events in OA,” says Dr. John Hardin, Arthritis Foundation director of osteoarthritis research. “An ACL tear immediately triggers the OA disease process at a molecular and cellular level and it continues for one or more years. If we can detect and measure these early changes, we could likely discover treatments to prevent or slow down the disease in the general population.”

A team of researchers at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City, Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) will use the Arthritis Foundation grant to demonstrate the feasibility of using state-of-the-art technologies to monitor joint health after ACL injuries across multiple research centers. The team will test the ability of new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to measure the molecular changes that begin to occur immediately after an ACL tear. Results of this study may enable a future clinical trial to test compounds that can potentially treat OA.

“This partnership is an integral part of the emerging field of precision medicine, which aims to harness the vast advances in technology, genetics and biomedical research to better understand the roots of disease and to transform heath care so that prevention, diagnosis and treatment are precisely tailored to individuals to develop targeted therapies and to improve care to patients worldwide,” says Sharmila Majumdar, PhD., vice chair for research, professor, and director of the musculoskeletal and quantitative imaging research group at UCSF and co-principal investigator for this project.

Investigators at each of the three institutions will invite healthy young individuals who have just torn their ACL to join the study. Patients will be evaluated at several points during the first 12 months after the injury with traditional MRI and newer MRI techniques.

“Not everyone who has an ACL tear will develop osteoarthritis, but some do,” says Dr. Scott Rodeo, orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery and project co-principal investigator. “The goal is to identify biomarkers that reflect alterations in the joint environment that may be predictive of developing arthritis.”

“What we learn from examining these biomarkers and from the MRI after injury can allow us and others to develop strategies, drug therapy or ways to prevent, or at least delay, osteoarthritis.” says Dr. Michael Stuart, vice chair of orthopedic surgery and co-director of the Sports Medicine Center at Mayo Clinic.

The Arthritis Foundation grant for the Feasibility Trial to Study ACL Injury as a Model of Early Osteoarthritis is made possible through generous donations from Marsha and Henry Laufer, PhDs and the Alpha Omicron Pi fraternity.

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Cambria Partners with the Arthritis Foundation to Launch Camp Cambria

Camp CambriaWhat do kids with juvenile arthritis (JA) and Cambria have in common? Both have a desire to open a camp in Minnesota for kids with arthritis.

Marty Davis, Cambria President and CEO, learned about JA thanks to friend, Justin Morneau, whose niece was diagnosed at age 3. When Davis heard of the 13,000 children in the Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region (AFUMR) with JA and only one week of camp in the Region (WI), he immediately wanted to help and saw the possibilities of a partnership between Cambria and the AFUMR. Thanks to a substantial commitment from Cambria, the AFUMR will open a new camp in 2014 for kids living with JA!

“When the great need for an additional juvenile arthritis camp was brought to our attention, we knew it was something we wanted to be a part of,” says Marty Davis. “Camp Cambria has the opportunity to provide laughter and joy to the many children living with juvenile arthritis in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin, that’s what we will strive to accomplish.”

Camp Cambria will be a 6-day residential camp held at Camp Courage in Maple Lake, Minnesota, August 10-15, 2014 for children with arthritis ages 8-17. Camp will be a week packed with games, songs, dancing, crafts and more! In addition to the fun and usual camp activities, Camp Cambria will provide JA campers with important tools and resources related to disease management and self-esteem.

“Opening Camp Cambria will be life-changing for children with juvenile arthritis. We already know our JA kids returning from our Wisconsin Camp M.A.S.H. (Make Arthritis Stop Hurting) are transformed by the camp experience. Camp Cambria will offer incredible new opportunities for more kids to connect with other kids facing similar challenges and provide a great camp experience. For many, it will be the first time they’ve met another child with arthritis. They form tremendous bonds, which can be lifelong,” explains Dr. Richard Vehe, Pediatric Rheumatologist.

In Wisconsin, Camp M.A.S.H. celebrated its 25th year this summer. The AFUMR hosted 91 children and more than 40 volunteers for a week of campfires, swimming, karaoke, root beer floats, games and more.

We look forward to welcoming JA kids at Camp Cambria next summer with programming designed specifically for them, facilitated by counselors and medical staff,” said Liz Atchison, Regional Juvenile Arthritis Manager. “They will experience a variety of recreational activities including fishing, swimming, a ropes course and boating. Our history and success in Wisconsin with Camp M.A.S.H. gives us a great model to replicate in Minnesota with Camp Cambria. We are thrilled to offer this amazing experience for more kids with arthritis through the generous support of Marty Davis and Cambria.”

Cambria is the only family-owned, American made producer of natural quartz surfaces. As a stain resistant, nonporous natural stone surface, Cambria is harder, stronger, safer and easier to care for than other stone surfaces. Headquartered in Le Sueur, Minnesota, Cambria is sold through an exclusive North American network of premium, independent specialty retail and trade partners which can be identified at http://www.CambriaUSA.com.

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Ask a Doc Facebook Q&A Session

9.26 Ask-a-Doc

We are proud to announce the return of our “Ask a Doc” arthritis Q&A session! Mark your calendars and join us on our Facebook wall Thursday, September 26 from 2–3 p.m. Dr. Greg Alvine, Orthopedic Surgeon with CORE Orthopedics will host this session and answer your questions.

The Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region is partnering with a local ,South Dakota, healthcare professional to offer a one-hour LIVE question and answer session on Facebook.  On Thursday, September 26th from 2 – 3 p.m CST. the AFUMR will post the “Ask a Doc” promo (as seen above) on its Facebook fan page.  In the comments below the photo, you can post any arthritis-related question that comes to mind.  Dr. Greg Alvine, Orthopedic Surgeon with CORE Orthopedics in Sioux Fall, South Dakota will answer the questions in real time!

Mark your calendar and start thinking of your questions! We’ll see you on Facebook.

Like the Arthritis Foundation on Facebook to stay in the loop about arthritis news, programs, events and fun!

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Healing Hands, Helping Hands


The Arthritis Foundation Upper Midwest Region and Massage Envy have joined forces to host the third annual Healing Hands for Arthritis event. This is a one-day nationwide event to raise funds to find a cure for arthritis. On September 18, Massage Envy will  donate $10 for every massage and facial service booked, as well as 10% of all sales of their products to the Arthritis Foundation.

Since 2010, this event has raised over $1 million nationally for the Arthritis Foundation. Last year alone, the AFUMR received $20,000 in donations from 30 locations in Minnesota and Wisconsin. Sign up for your massage today at http://bit.ly/HHforaA . For those that would like to contribute further, there will be collection areas at each Massage Envy location, or by texting MASSAGE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

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100 Healthy Families

100_healthyArthritis Foundation Continues Alliance With Healthier Wisconsin Partnership Program in Milwaukee

Those with chronic diseases, including arthritis, and a history of hospitalization or emergency room use are at high risk for return hospitalization. Mounting evidence suggests hospitalization of our seniors is often the “tipping point” for declining health. African American seniors are especially “at risk” because their rates of hospitalization are higher than others.  We know that many non-elective hospitalizations are preventable.

An alliance that started in Milwaukee in 2005 (Elder Health Upholder Project) is now a network of ten Milwaukee Pastors, their church communities, seven RN’s and seven organizational partners:  Medical College of Wisconsin, Columbia College of Nursing, St Joseph Family Care Center, Arthritis Foundation, Alzheimer’s Association, Center for Urban Population Health, and Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope (MICAH). The goals of this alliance are to provide health support and better coordinated chronic care for African American seniors at high risk for preventable hospitalization. Lori Obluck is a member of the Administrative Leadership Team and will direct six Community Advisory Team meetings throughout the grant period.

The current 2-year project, “100 Healthy At Risk Families” will provide nurse-lead education and support sessions for 100 “at risk” seniors at 10 churches and will include topics such as “How to Talk with Your Doctor”, “Preventing Falls” and “Transition Care.” Concurrently, pastoral leaders will advocate, through community networks, for a healthy home workforce to improve the safety of senior living thus allowing them to remain healthy in their homes for as long as possible.

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Camp M.A.S.H. Dance!

Every year the kids at Camp M.A.S.H. learn a dance! This year we danced to everyone’s favorite boy band, One Direction.

Our kids with arthritis sure can get their groove on! Check out their dance here.

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