Pan European Networks - Horizon 2020 - page 176

he prevalence of rheumatic diseases is high. In the
Netherlands (with 17 million inhabitants) there are over
400,000 patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases
(>120,000 with rheumatoid arthritis, >100,000 with
spondyloarthritis, >30,000 with connective tissue diseases, and
>100,000 with gout), over one million with osteoarthritis and over
200,000 with soft tissue rheumatism, totalling about 1.6 million
patients (about 9% of the population).
Rheumatology is the medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis
and management of diseases of the musculoskeletal apparatus,
i.e. of the locomotor and connective tissue systems as well as of
the adjoining soft tissues. It includes inflammatory diseases of the
musculoskeletal system, of the connective tissue and of the
vessels; degenerative diseases of the joints and spine; metabolic
disorders which manifest in the locomotor apparatus; soft tissue
disorders and diseases of the internal organs and of the nervous
system, insofar as these relate to the abovementioned diseases
(definition: European Union of Medical Specialists).
The Netherlands is leading in the field of rheumatology research;
actual scientific output (qualitatively as well as quantitatively, not
adjusted for size of country) is number three in the world, after the
USA and UK. This research field encompasses clinical, outcome,
basic and translational research. Amsterdam has a rich tradition
in this research: both the Academic Medical Center (AMC) and
the VU University Medical Center (VUmc) (together with Reade)
are currently recognised as EULAR (European League Against
Rheumatism) centres of excellence. In October 2014 a formal
agreement was signed between the boards of governors of the
AMC, Reade and VUmc to combine all research into one – the
Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center (ARC), and
Hans Bijlsma was appointed as its first director.
The Amsterdam Rheumatology and immunology Center is a
transparent organisation with excellent facilities for diagnosis and
treatment of rheumatic diseases by successfully combining high
quality care with scientific research. The ARC is characterised by
efficient structural and management lines and clear sets of tasks.
Communication with our partners and clients comprises both
structured, multidisciplinary consultation and informal, easily
accessible contacts.
Within the ARC we strive to create maximum space for new ideas
in the fields of research, care, education and training.We promote
a healthy organisational structure by actively investing in the
development of our employees, taking care of each other, and
being open to constructive feedback.We trust and respect each
other and stand together to achieve more.
For patients, healthcare insurers and patient referrals, the ARC is a
top institute manned by experts and focused on tailored patient
treatment. Patients receive personal care and 80% are engaged in
both research and education. For funders and researchers, both in
the Netherlands and beyond, the ARC is a reliable research
partner involved in innovative basic and clinical research. The ARC
appeals (inter)nationally to students, researchers, doctors and
paramedics and shares its expertise with everyone.
In this way, the ARC makes important contributions to society.
The major research theme of the Department of Rheumatology
and Clinical Immunology is chronic inflammation in
rheumatic diseases.
This research has a clear common goal: to make a major
contribution to the early diagnosis and optimal treatment of
rheumatic diseases, especially rheumatoid arthritis,
spondyloarthritis and systemic autoimmune diseases.
Members of the department are partners in many European and
other international research consortia.
Of all the chronic diseases the rheumatic diseases have the largest impact on
quality of life and work-related absence of work
Chronic diseases
H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L
H E A L T H : D I S E A S E R E S E A R C H
The ARC is an international centre of excellence for
rheumatology that:
Offers patients with rheumatic diseases excellent and
innovative care;
Attracts world class researchers, physicians, as well as other
health professionals that share our ambition;
Attracts the best candidates for clinical and research training;
Is highly successful in obtaining external funding from national
and international (European) bodies, as well as from
pharmaceutical and other industries;
Plays an important role in improving early diagnosis and
enabling better treatment for rheumatic diseases in the long
run; and
Offers outstanding postgraduate training for rheumatologists.
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