Future Research Suggestions

Your chance as a patient to influence future research into AS

Professor Hill Gaston

Arthritis Research UK funds more than 250 current grants into all types of arthritis and related musculoskeletal conditions; from laboratory-based science through to multi-centre clinical trials.  They have set up 8 Clinical Study Groups (CSGs), each covering a different group of conditions. Each has a group leader, appointed for an initial 3 year term, who is responsible for the group activities and ensuring that all interests are represented.

AS is covered by the Spondyloarthropathies CSG and is chaired by Professor Hill Gaston from the University of Cambridge.

The CSG considers the clinical questions which need to be answered in each group of diseases, and then decides on priorities:

  • which can be answered now
  • which need to wait until we have better technologies
  • which are less likely to help patients and don't therefore represent good value for money

This leads to a research strategy which can be implemented using funding from Arthritis Research UK, often with other partners, taking advantage of the national networks and infrastructure. Each CSG needs to get opinions from everyone involved - doctors, health professionals and most importantly patients, so that the strategy which is decided commands the very widest support.

The Spondyloarthropathy CSG published a progress report in September 2012 which you can read.

All NASS members have a unique opportunity to put forward ideas that they, as patients, think should be considered as research priorities for the future. NASS will feed this information into the CSG meetings. Please send in your ideas by completing the very short questionnaire below. Who knows? - maybe your ideas will end up being those which lead to studies being designed, funded, and producing results which alter the lives and treatment of future AS patients.

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