Research Priorities

Arthritis Research Foundation

Our goals are to ensure that critical research continues and to seek new ways to beat arthritis.

Arthritis is the leading cause of illness and disability in Canada. As noted in the ‘2010 Life with Arthritis, A personal and public health challenge’, published by the Public Health Agency of Canada the costs attributed to arthritis and the impact on Canada’s economy are substantial. The publication notes the economic burden of arthritis in Canada is $6.4 billion annually.[1]

Even with the staggering health and economic costs, and the growing number of people affected, not enough is being invested in research when measured against other comparable health crises like heart disease and cancer. Arthritis and autoimmune conditions account for over 10% of the total economic burden of illness in Canada, yet only 1.3% of attributed health science research is dedicated to this area.
Arthritis has an enormous impact on quality of life. A prolonged course of arthritis may result in extended periods of pain and suffering, reduced sleep, depression and unemployment. It is not terminal but its effects can last a lifetime.
The Foundation’s vision to support research includes these pillars:

Personalized Medicine 
Adapting the concept of “personalized medicine,” which is being successfully used in other diagnostic models, to treat and even prevent arthritis and autoimmune diseases is of importance for our researchers. This requires the world-class leadership of the AARC scientists to remain at the forefront of arthritis and autoimmune diseases research. In order that we may continue to claim this position, we need to accelerate discoveries to optimize patient outcomes. The Arthritis Research Foundation is committed to developing rising stars and recruiting internationally recognized respected leaders.  
Ultimately the goal of our outstanding research team is to find cures for arthritis and autoimmune diseases.  While there is no known cure at this time, new therapeutics and earlier diagnosis permitting earlier and more aggressive treatment has improved the quality of life for thousands.  AARC scientists are in a unique environment with access to a large population and world class researchers to cover the spectrum of scientific discovery. With ongoing funding from the Arthritis Research Foundation, scientists are able to continue their innovative research programs at AARC. 
Translating Research into Tangible Outcomes 
The AARC research begins with discoveries in the laboratory which provide scientists with new insights and lead to the creation of new therapies.  From here, experiential knowledge from highly acclaimed physicians and surgeons, together with keen insights revealed through comprehensive patient databases, inform diagnosis and treatment in the clinic. And with this knowledge researchers can, through patient experiences in the community, deepen scientists’ understandings and inform future areas of research. Arthritis Research Foundation is committed to funding this opportunity to improve diagnosis and provide better and more appropriate treatments for patients with arthritis and autoimmune diseases.
At this time there is no cure for any of these diseases, and most patients suffer in silence. 
It is often an invisible disease.

[1] 2010 Life with Arthritis in Canada PHAC