Despite a very difficult year for all of us, remarkable things are being accomplished at Johns Hopkins Rheumatology, and I hope you will see that this issue of LEAP is […]
This is an unusual time, and this year’s LEAP reflects it well: we start with Covid-19’s very sickest patients, and a Hopkins-wide team’s groundbreaking efforts to illuminate an unusual response in their immune system.
We end with a remarkable patient with a rare autoimmune disease: the legendary musician, Peter Frampton, who is not only raising awareness and research funding, but changing medical advice about how to preserve muscle function.
Alice in Wonderland may come to mind as you read this issue of LEAP, because we are moving from the large to the small, and back again: A rheumatic disease is big, and its effect can be devastating. However, a disease such as rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, or Sjögren’s is, in fact, multiple diseases, each slightly different.
For too long, doctors treating rheumatic diseases have had to base their management on instinct and experience.
The problem is that each physician has a limited experience – which means that many times we basically had to guess at how to treat a specific patient, using trial and error to find out what might work best.
In this issue of LEAP you can read about our precision approach to an increasingly common illness, gout, to a rare illness linked to Sjögren’s, and to cancer patients who are developing some autoimmune-mediated complications. And we are especially excited to share with you a tremendous breakthrough in understanding how rheumatoid arthritis begins.