A Quick Summary of Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is a painful condition that comprises multiple types, including polyarticular JIA and systemic JIA. Although these two forms of JIA have important commonalities--both are chronic conditions, both affect children, both are immune-mediated--substantial differences exist. Polyarticular JIA is thought to be an autoimmune disease associated primarily with abnormalities in the immune system, whereas systemic JIA is an autoinflammatory disease associated with abnormalities in the immune system.  Although both conditions are often treated with biologics, current biologic therapy for polyarticular JIA, is directed against tumor necrosis factor (TNF), using adalimumab and etanercept, against T-cell costimulation, using abatacept, or against interleukin (IL)-6, using tocilizumab. For systemic JIA, current biologic therapy is directed against IL-1, using anakinra and canakinumab, and against IL-6 (Interleukin 1and 6 is a molecule closely associated with inflammation), using tocilizumab. Despite these effective therapies, however, treatment is complicated by the fact that there are no recent treatment guidelines available for either polyarticular or systemic JIA. 


March 2018

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