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Early diagnosis and personalized treatment of rheumatoid arthrisis

In a direct approach to connect molecular research to patient care, the principle goal of the project is to develop a diagnostic method and highly specific metabolic drugs for the personalized early treatment of patients suffering from the autoimmune disease rheumatoid arthritis (RA).

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About the project

Autoimmunity is with cancer and cardiovascular disease ranked as the most common causes of morbidity in the world today. RA is a chronic, systemic inflammatory autoimmune disorder associated with harmful activity and proliferation of white blood cells (lymphocytes) that attack and destroy flexible (synovial) joints. The etiology of RA is not known and there is no known cure. However, early detection and aggressive therapy have proven effective in dampening RA symptoms. At an early stage methotrexate (MTX), a potent anti-cancer drug is prescribed. The use of MTX which inhibits all forms of cell proliferation is associated with severe side effects and markedly reduced life quality for many of the RA patients.

We hypothesize that developing drugs which specifically target lymphocyte proliferation can be used to more precisely treat and dampen RA symptoms.


The Research Council of Norway


The project is performed in collaboration with Professor Tore K. Kvien and Dr. Guro Løvik Goll at the Dept. of Rheumatology, Diakonhjemmet Hospital in Oslo, Professor Friedrich Herberg, Department of Biochemistry, University of Kassel, Germany, Professor Magnar Bjørås, the Core facility for Structural Biology at Centre for Molecular Biology and Neuroscience (CMBN) at Oslo University Hospital (OUS) and Dr. Katja B. P. Elgstøen Dept of Medical Biochemistry, OUS.



Published Jan. 9, 2013 1:04 PM - Last modified Sep. 22, 2017 9:04 AM


Bjørn Steen Skålhegg

Department of Nutrition
Domus Medica
Sognsvannsveien 9
0372 Oslo