Rheumatoid arthritis is often considered a condition of aging,
as depicted in pharmaceutical ads of middle-aged and older adults seeking to maintain active lifestyles without joint pain. But the disease is also an important cause of disability among children in the United States.
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, now also called juvenile idiopathic arthritis, is not regarded as hereditary and rarely affects more than one family member. While little is known about its causes, clinical trials are revealing promising treatment options using drugs that target specific components of the inflammatory pathway and that have previously been shown to be effective in adults. Results from several of these studies were presented recently at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston.
Hampton T. Trials Reveal Promising Options for Treating Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis. JAMA. 2008;299(1):27-28. doi:10.1001/jama.2007.36