Initially, the goal of this US-Danish collaborative research project
was to gain an understanding of what leads to the natural improvement of
rheumatoid arthritis symptoms during pregnancy and why the symptoms return after childbirth.
With funds from the National Institutes of Health (US), Gigtforeningen (Denmark) and The Juliane Marie Center (Denmark), we have been successfully recruiting and following healthy women and women with RA from before pregnancy until after they give birth.
We have a unique set of data and samples, which to our knowledge, is the only such resource available for this type of research.
During the course of the project, we realized that surprisingly little is known about maternal changes that occur during pregnancy among healthy women, and how those changes relate to maternal health. Most research has focused on the maternal-fetal interface and fetal health.
Thus, our research, , has implications that extend far beyond the field of RA.
The findings will have an impact on the fields of maternal health, child health as well as on autoimmune diseases that improve during pregnancy and flare after childbirth, such as multiple sclerosis – and will make important contributions to the field of Precision medicine.
For the research results to be reliable, we still need to collect and analyze
data and samples from more women.
We are very grateful to the healthy women and women with RA who kindly volunteer to participate in this research project,
providing their time, data and samples to help advance the frontiers of science.