A panel of Australian researchers are claiming to have discovered potential markers for the severity of childhood arthritis. The study conducted at the University of Adelaide and Women's and Children's Hospital examined 115 children with juvenile arthritis have shown that changes in the levels of particular molecules known as 'prostanoids' - which are formed from essential fatty acids - in the blood of these patients may predict the course of arthritis more accurately, and help provide more individualised treatment.
The relationships between the blood levels of molecules called 'prostanoids' and disease activity in childhood arthritis has already been established by the researchers. The leader of this research, Dr. Christina Boros, said that the research is promising and they are looking at a larger group of children with arthritis and how prostanoids may predict arthritis disease activity over time as well as how the use of medications affects prostanoid levels.
Having confirmed biomarkers could not only change how we treat the childhood arthritis, but also reduce the physical, emotional and financial burden of the disease. There are many medications available for juvenile arthritis but unfortunately there is still no cure. Anything that can improve treatment and prevent joint damage is welcome.
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