Monday, July 8, 2019

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITY: KickStart30: A 30-Day Intervention for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis

I'm a big fan of research aimed at improving the lives of people living with rheumatoid arthritis, so I wanted to share this research opportunity from the University of Texas at Austin:


The purpose of this study, “KickStart30: A 30-Day Intervention for Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis,” is to explore the efficacy and feasibility of an integrated, prescriptive, and trackable wellness intervention combining five wellness elements including exercise, mindfulness, sleep, social connectedness, and nutrition. Eligible participants include:
  • Adults (18+) interested in improving their overall wellness
  • Received a diagnosis of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) from a Rheumatologist
  • Currently taking a biologic medication or a JAK inhibitor for the treatment of RA including one more more of the following: Orencia (intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection), Humira (subcutaneous injection), Kineret (subcutaneous injection), Cimzia (subcutaneous injection), Enbrel (subcutaneous injection), Simponi (subcutaneous injection), Simponi Aria (intravenous infusion), Remicade (intravenous infusion), Kevzara (subcutaneous injection), Rituxan (intravenous infusion), Actemra (intravenous infusion or subcutaneous injection), Olumiant (oral administration), Xeljanz (oral administration)
  • Must not be pregnant or plan to get pregnant during the 30-day study
  • English-speaking
  • Must have access to a reliable Internet-enabled computer
  • Must possess basic computer skills
The study involves participating in a 30-day integrated, prescriptive, trackable wellness intervention,
which includes five wellness elements: exercise, mindfulness, sleep, social connectedness, and nutrition. Additional program requirements include:
  • Implementing 5 wellness interventions daily during the 30-day study
  • Documenting daily online adherence
  • Completing daily HERO (happiness, enthusiasm, resilience, and optimism) exercises to improve your mental wellness
  • Completing online program forms prior to beginning the program and again at 30-days upon completion of the study
All information collected will be kept confidential. Participation is completely voluntary and can be
discontinued at any time without repercussion. There are minimal risks to participating in this study.

Potential benefits that participants may expect from this study include no-cost wellness
information/practices for both physical and mental wellbeing. You will also help researchers in the
advancement of research regarding wellness as a clinical and community-based intervention.

Researchers: Drs. Saundra Jain and Donna Rolin
To volunteer or for more information, please contact Study Personnel at 855.266.9222.
Prior to calling, please watch the study overview video:



Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Healthline's Best Rheumatoid Arthritis Blogs of 2019

I'm honored to be selected as one of Healthline's best rheumatoid arthritis blogs of 2019 - alongside some of my favorite people! 

You can check out the full 2019 list here.

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Brain Fog and RA - What Do Researchers Know?

While "brain fog" isn't a medical term, I've heard anecdotally that many people living with RA have experienced it themselves....As it turns out, there has been some research on this subject.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Could a Mummy Hold the Key to An Arthritis Cure?

Scientists are studying a mummy that was discovered in a convent in the town of Guano, Ecuador. They believe that further examination of it could uncover a missing link that allows scientists to better understand the origin and natural history of RA.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Could A Scorpion Take the Sting Out of RA?

Ever since I was first diagnosed with RA, I’ve kept my fingers crossed for scientists to identify new treatments or even to find a cure. From parasitic worms to an electrical implant in the brain to a peptide found only in old world monkeys, I’ve seen RA research take some very interesting paths over the last ten years. And here’s another one:

A group of researchers has found that one of the hundreds of components in scorpion venom can reduce the severity of RA in animal models.

Monday, January 28, 2019

American College of Rheumatology Issues Guidelines for Reproductive Health

In October 2018, the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) presented brand new clinical guidelines on reproductive health. This is very exciting news for patients living with rheumatoid arthritis, particularly women, as it gives our rheumatologists a consistent, peer-reviewed set of recommendations to answer important questions about contraception, fertility, pregnancy, breastfeeding, and menopause.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Yahoo! Lifestyle: The struggles of being a mom with painful arthritis

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Yahoo! Lifestyle about the challenges of being a mom with a chronic illness. The article also gave me a chance to share more about why I started Mamas Facing Forward and how I hope to continue helping moms in the future! Click below to read the full article:

Yahoo! Lifestyle


Thursday, November 15, 2018

RA Research Study That Pays $190

This post is sponsored by Video Chat Network

Since I was originally diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) ten years ago, I've noticed that companies have become a lot more interested in giving patients the opportunity to provide real feedback on the patient experience. This is important not only to shape products and experiences for future patients, but also because some of these opportunities compensate patients for their time and expertise - and we all know that life with RA comes with a financial burden as well! So I wanted to share an opportunity that gives patients living with RA the opportunity to earn $190 for sharing their perspectives.

Video Chat Network is an independent research firm engaged in a project to learn about the current challenges, experiences, and best practices for living your life with RA. They are looking to interview patients who have been diagnosed with RA for more than three months and who are currently on a regimen that includes DMARDs (such as Celebrex, Trexall/methotrexate, or Plaquenil) or advanced therapy biologics (such as Humira, Simponi, or Orencia) in either pill, injection, or infusion form. 

Participants will be asked about their thoughts and experiences during the process of finding a treatment plan that works best for them. This input will affect how information about new and upcoming treatment options are presented to future patients.

If you are over 18 and interested in participating in a one-hour video chat interview, you will be compensated $190 for your time and opinions.

If you can refer other RA patients, you will be compensated $50 for every interview performed that your referral provides.

As a patient myself, I was sure to ask the study organizers about their privacy policies before deciding to share this opportunity with my readers. They assured me that the video interviews would be recorded for internal reference and study analysis only, and that participants names will not be revealed. The learning from all respondents will be pooled together and analyzed and no personal identifying information will be revealed to the client. 

To find out if you qualify, please click here and fill out the online questionnaire.

Monday, November 5, 2018

October Articles for Rheumatology Network - ACR 2018

My assignments for Rheumatology Network include reporting on recent scientific studies about rheumatoid arthritis and other related diseases. For the month of October my articles focus on coverage of the American College of Rheumatology Annual Meeting that took place in Chicago, Illinois.

Although these articles are intended primarily for a physician audience, I know patients are also interested in scientific advances. If you ever have additional questions, please don't hesitate to let me know!

New recommendations cover pre-conception assessment, pregnancy-compatible medications, breastfeeding, and contraception for rheumatology patients.

New guidelines have been drafted for the treatment of JIA, specifically addressing therapeutic approaches for non-systemic polyarthritis, sacroiilitis, and enthesitis. 

The pros and cons of HCQ dosing guidelines to limit potential eye toxicity were explored at this year's ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting.

Findings from the first study to incorporate a meta-analysis on TNFi dose adjustment in an axSpA population.

Seropositivity was strongly associated with ILD risk in this large prospective cohort study. 

British researchers quantified the burden of continuing weight gain on the risk of PsA. 

Be alert for the development of uveitis in older patients with gout, especially those who have multiple comorbidities.

Monday, October 1, 2018

September Articles for Rheumatology Network

My assignments for Rheumatology Network include reporting on recent scientific studies about rheumatoid arthritis and other related diseases. Although these articles are intended primarily for a physician audience (and thus can get a bit technical and jargon-y) I know patients are also interested in scientific advances - so I still want to share links to these articles! But if you ever have additional questions, please don't hesitate to let me know!

Moderate physical activity improved function and quality of life but failed to have the expected impact on pain.