Saida Farah Issa 14/11-2012 Cartilage metabolism and carbohydrate binding molecules in early, undifferentiated and longstanding rheumatoid arthritis Saida Farah Issa MD, ph.d-student Research unit, Department of Rheumatology Summary The purpose of this project is to study the association between cartilage metabolism and carbohydrate binding molecules in patients with early, undifferentiated and long-standing arthritis. Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, inflammatory disease and the untreated disease is characterized by deterioration of joints and consequently disability. RA patients with autoantibodies have been reported to have decreased cartilage formation. This project will further study this association by measuring cartilage metabolism and immunologic markers in patients with arthritis, before a diagnosis can be given. Further more we will examine, whether one of the markers that is measured is affected by changes in the circadian rhythm or physical activity. The project includes 3 well defined patient groups with early, undifferentiated and undiagnosed arthritis, long-standing arthritis and patients with long-standing arthritis that are recently diagnosed.