About Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis
by Ashlee Simmons
Juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, also called JRA, is a childhood disease with unknown causes. Like rheumatoid arthritis in adults, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease affecting the joints. Symptoms include swelling and pain that are treated with exercise, anti-inflammatory medications, injections and physical therapy.
There are three types of juvenile rheumatoid arthritis: pauciarticular, polyarticular and systemic.
Pauciarticular JRA is most commonly found in young girls under the age of 8 and affects only a few joints in the body.
Polyarticular JRA is found in both large and small joints of children's bodies and affects five or more joints at one time.
Systemic JRA can affect both the joints and organs of a child's body and is the most rare form of JRA.
Physicians use blood tests and X-rays to diagnose Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.
In 2008, about 300,000 American children had juvenile rheumatoid arthritis.
Dr. Angelo Ravelli reported, in 2008, his findings that 1 in 5 children diagnosed with JRA were also disabled.