What is ASAP?
We are a community of patients, family members, and friends dedicated to raising awareness of ankylosing spondylitis and related diseases in both the general public and the medical community. We support the mission of the Spondylitis Association of America.
The Problem...
Most people have never heard of ankylosing spondylitis. Unfortunately, medical professionals and researchers are no exception. This is surprising because a relatively large number of people, estimated to be between 1 to 2% of the general population, are afflicted with some form of spondyloarthritis. That means that for every 100 friends you have, odds are that one or two is a spondylitis patient. It is NOT a rare disease. Its prevalence is similar to that of rheumatoid arthritis. As of December 2009 only 23 active grants funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) are related to ankylosing spondylitis. This is 10 to 40 TIMES less than diseases with similar prevalence. For example, there are currently 774 grants that fund research into rheumatoid arthritis. To make matters worse, the NIH has released only one request for applications to promote research into the pathogenesis of ankylosing spondylitis since 1992.

So why is there so little interest and support for ankylosing spondylitis in the research community? We believe it is a problem of awareness. Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic degenerative illness that deserves the attention of the research community and funding agencies. More researchers need to be recruited to the cause. Medical doctors need to be educated in the latest research findings in order to make more informed treatment decisions and more accurate diagnoses. Patients and families need to learn to cope with the lifelong impacts of this disease. We are hurting, we need to hold on to the hope that a cure may yet be found in our lifetime.

Join Us!
Fast facts about AS
1. Ankylosing spondylitis is a chronic degenerative arthritis of the spine and hips.

2. It’s a disease of the young--the age of onset is typically in the twenties or thirties.

3. Chronic inflammation and pain leads to the growth of new bone (ankylosis), eventually causing "fusion" of the spine. The end result of this process is severely restricted range of motion, deformity, neurological problems, and a brittle spine.

4. There is no cure.

To learn more facts about the disease, its prevalence, and its impact, please click here.
How can I help?
Find us on Facebook and join in on the discussion. Suggest an awareness project and get involved!

Visit our CafePress store, all sale profits are donated directly to the Spondylitis Association of America.

Become a member of the Spondylitis Association of America and make a donation. Support the mission of the SAA!

Get involved in a group awareness project, or start one of your own! Join us on Facebook and get involved directly. Check the Projects page here to see what's happening.

Spread the word! Write a letter, start a blog, speak your mind!

Become an advocate for ankylosing spondylitis. The SAA has a wonderful web page detailing ways that you can help.

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