We are working on a cure together
In every corner of Ireland, people living with arthritis say that finding a cure for arthritis and preventing the joint damage, pain and disease that this awful disease inflicts, is their number one wish.
Treatments for arthritis have improved enormously over the last number of years. Thirty years ago, rheumatologists’ waiting rooms were filled with people in wheelchairs. Today, that is no longer the case. Treatments have improved over time and the outlook for a person diagnosed with arthritis in 2016 is much brighter than it used to be.
2015 saw our quest to find a cure continue at a pace. Our second Chair of Rheumatology was appointed to TCD. This follows our first appointment in UCD in 2013. Professor Ursula Fearon joins the team at the Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute where she will work closely with the team in UCD.
Professor Gerry Wilson, Chair of Rheumatology at UCD has been working on research in to the genetic origins of rheumatoid arthritis. He hopes to develop ways of predicting a patients response to treatments and therefore prevent lasting damage.
Working together, these two world-class centres will support and enhance all rheumatology research efforts throughout the country and position Ireland at the forefront of rheumatology internationally.
Although this represents a major step forward, the true value of these centres will only be realised when we see the results of this research leading to new discoveries: when we unearth new causes of arthritis, develop new treatments and find a cure.
Over the next few years, Arthritis Ireland will build an institute of rheumatology that covers the entire country.
Now that the chairs are established, we will create a national bio-bank of blood and tissue samples. This will give our best researchers access to the biological samples that are required to make new, important discoveries.