ISR 2018

Huge congratulations to Dr Sarah Wade PhD for being awarded Young Investigator of the Year 2018, Dr Charlene Foley MD for winning best scientific presentation and Dr Candice Lowe MD for best poster.

Invited Speaker Prof. Józef Dulak

Trinity Biomedical Sciences Institute was delighted to welcome Prof. Józef Dulak from the Department of Medical Biotechnology in Jagiellonian University, Krakow, Poland to Dublin on 4th April. Prof. Dulak gave a talk entitled “Heme oxygenase-1 and microRNAs in heart and skeletal muscle repair and regeneration”. The talk documented Prof. Dulak’s lab’s success in elucidating the role of heme oxygenase-1 in the repair and regeneration of heart muscle following injury.

Prof Dulak wuth Dr Monika Biniecka and Prof Ursula Fearon

EULAR Course on Immunology

The biennial EULAR Course on Immunology took place in Lisbon, Portugal this year from 6th-7th April. This course is designed to bring together young rheumatologists, dermatologists and doctors who have a keen interest in immunology. Rheumatological diseases are very complex and require a integrative approach to ensure that basic scientific findings are translated into the most effective and tolerable targeted therapies. The course was founded to ensure rheumatology clinicians and researchers have an understanding of the immunological background of autoimmune-mediated rheumatic diseases.

This interactive and compact course was composed of specialist lectures on current immunology topics and their relevance to inflammatory diseases, a research workshop and an immunology “speed dating” session which allowed participants to learn about eachother’s areas of interest.

We were delighted that Prof. Ursula Fearon was invited to speak at the course while Dr Trudy McGarry and Megan Hanlon were also in attendance.

To find out more about the course, click here.

Rheumatism in Pregnancy

The Rheumatology Reproductive Health Clinic

Established in 2013 between Rheumatology OLH/St. Vincent’s Hospital and Maternal Medicine at the National Maternity Hospital, Holles St. has reported outcomes of the first four years of service development and research. The clinic is a multidisciplinary body led by dedicated nurses, doctors and allied health professionals that aim to improve the standard of care for women with rheumatic diseases who are planning a family. The clinic aims to identify patient’s needs and to ensure a multidisciplinary approach to optimise good disease control at each stage of pregnancy.

A total of 98 women attended the clinic from January 2013-2016 with the majority suffering from rheumatoid or psoriatic arthritis. There were 24 women on biologic DMARD therapy at time of conception and 38% continued these throughout the pregnancy. There were a total of 76 births. Following a patient survey, 90% of the women involved were “very satisfied” with the standard of care and physical and emotional support they received in the clinic. The data indicates towards the success of the clinic and the need for a multidisciplinary approach at all stages of pregnancy in women with rheumatic diseases.

The results from this study are to be presented at the 2018 EULAR conference in Amsterdam.

Changing the RA NarRAtive

Pfizer launched a worldwide initiative in 2014 to better understand disease management in RA and to improve physician-patient relationships. The campaign, known as the RA NarRAtive, was conducted across 15 countries by means of online patient and physician surveys. The primary aim of the RA NarRAtive was to highlight the importance of the patient in the successful management of RA.

In Ireland, 176 patients, who attend a rheumatologist, completed the survey and the results revealed that a large proportion of patients worry about their quality of life as a result of RA. The survey found 64% of patients worry about the damage RA is causing their joints, while 65% worry about the possibility of becoming disabled. Of the patients who take prescription medications, 77% wish they could take less. In terms of disease management and future goals, 68% of patients aim to reduce fatigue, 63% would like to reduce pain and 56% would like to be able to carry out daily tasks more comfortably.

The report highlighted the importance of the relationship between the patient and their physician, with 78% of patients stating that they turn to healthcare professionals for information and advice on managing the disease.

Speaking at the launch of the research findings in Ireland, Prof Douglas Veale of CARD and Consultant Rheumatologist at St. Vincent’s University Hospital, said: “This research is incredibly insightful and a welcome development in identifying the needs of RA patients. As a physician, I am always keen to understand patient feedback, their concerns and requirements. The patient feedback indicates the need to determine an effective, collaborative relationship between patients and their RA physician to work together to better manage RA. It is vital that RA patients are presented with treatment options and there is a need for ongoing development into new, innovative treatments.”

CARD Awarded EULAR Centre of Excellence Status

CARD is recognised as a EULAR Centre of Excellence in Rheumatology, the first of its kind in Ireland. It was awarded such status in 2014 by the European League Against Rheumatism (EULAR), a blanket organisation that represents health professionals, patients and national societies of rheumatism across the EU.

Read more about the unveiling of the award here and to find out more about EULAR, visit their website.