Effects of Rheumatoid Arthritis on Skeletal Muscle in Adults 

Principal Investigator: Kim Huffman, MD

The purpose of this research study is to determine the role of skeletal muscle in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) pathogenesis and clinical course. Despite recent, revolutionary improvements in pharmacologic management, RA remains associated with increased rates of physical disability and mortality.  One possible contributor is skeletal muscle.  This project will examine the impact of RA on the function of muscle stem cells, or myoblasts.

Two study groups will be enrolled in this trial – healthy controls and individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis.  Both groups will be asked to come in for a consent visit followed by a muscle biopsy procedure in the thigh muscle.  Participants with rheumatoid arthritis will receive a 28-point joint exam conducted by the study physician in order to assess RA disease activity. 

Rheumatoid Arthritics Participants may qualify if:

  • Between the ages of 55-85 years
  • Not using prednisone more than 5mg/day
  • No steroids for within 3 weeks of study participation

Healthy Participants may qualify if:

  • Between the ages of 55-85 years
  • Must match a rheumatoid arthritis participant in age (+/- three years) and gender

Study volunteers will be compensated for their participation.

For more information, please call (919) 681-9000, press 2 or email LSSResearch@dm.duke.edu

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