Empowering Patients With SARDs
Systemic autoimmune rheumatic diseases (SARDs) are a family of arthritic conditions in which people’s normally protective immune systems are misled and react against themselves. In these cases, antibodies become biological missiles called auto-antibodies that attack our own cells and organs. There are many of these auto-antibody-producing diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis and connective tissue diseases like lupus, systemic sclerosis and overlapping connective tissue diseases.
SARDs are associated with even worse diseases in younger women, with increased morbidity and premature mortality. Current treatments for SARDS are limited and do not sufficiently address the chronic pain, fatigue, depression and organ damage associated with these diseases.
Dr. Paul R. Fortin, Canada Research Chair in Systemic Autoimmune Rheumatic Diseases, has been working to better understand the bio-psycho-social impact of chronic rheumatic diseases associated with SARDs. He is particularly interested in developing multidimensional preventive and therapeutic interventions to empower SARDs patients and help them better navigate their journeys from illness to wellness.
Fortin’s goals include making it easier for clinically-important information and practices about SARDs to make their way to patients as soon as possible, and to train the next generation of health professionals who will care, teach and advance SARDs research.
Fortin’s research to better understand SARDs will lead to the development of a number of interventions that will improve the quality of life of SARDs patients.