July is Juvenile Arthritis Awareness Month, which aims to increase awareness of the early signs and symptoms of Juvenile Arthritis and help focus resources on this fight. The campaign was initiated by the Arthritis Foundation and targets a condition that currently affects 300,000 children nationwide, making it one of the most common childhood illnesses in the United States.

One of the most common types of juvenile arthritis is juvenile idiopathic arthritis, which is an autoimmune disease that attacks the joints and suppresses the body’s defenses. This is especially dangerous in children, as their immune systems are not fully developed until the age of 18, compromising their ability to fight off disease. About 50,000 children have been diagnosed with this form of arthritis. Autoimmune and autoinflammatory diseases account for most juvenile arthritis.

People with juvenile arthritis may experience:

  • Pain – it is common to feel some degree of pain in or around the joints.
  • Stiffness – as joints become painful, they can also become stiff.
  • Swelling – when certain joints become inflamed, swelling is common.
  • High fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes – rarely, children with juvenile arthritis may experience these symptoms.

Although there is no cure for JA, the prognosis today is better than ever. Thanks to new medicines and therapies, children can live more meaningful and active lives than ever before. However, we still have a long way to go. Currently, the goal is remission with little or no disease activity. Treatments may or may not last. That’s why finding a cure for JA is so important.

Randomized clinical trials provide the gold standard evidence for guiding clinical practice. Despite significant advances in trial design, pediatric clinical trials are still difficult to conduct and present unique challenges, including the need to consider the impact of developmental changes in trial design. Innovative trial designs are one way to advance the evidence base for pediatric rheumatology practice.

GCT has solid experience in pediatric studies, please reach us at bd@gctrilas.com for more information.

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