Obesity decrease chances for sustained remission in RA

Want a sustained remission if you have rheumatoid arthritis… then watch

Obesity decrease chances for sustained remission in RA

Amy Karon writing in Rheumatology News reported that obese patients with RA are significantly less likely to achieve a sustained disease remission than are patients who have normal weight or who are only overweight. The study was conducted at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York.

Comment: Not new news but definitely important.


For patients with inflammation of the eye, which is the best anti- TNF drug? Next

Humira tops others for patients with ankylosing spondylitis and anterior uveitis

M. Alexander Otto writing for Rheumatology News reported on a study from Gothenburg University involving 1,365 patients with ankylosing spondylitis. Compared with both Enbrel and Remicade, Humira led to many fewer office visits for anterior uveitis. Flares also decreased by about 40%. Enbrel appeared to make uveitis worse.

Comment:     One of my sons who has ankylosing spondylitis had an episode of anterior uveits this past summer. Very frightening. It is imperative to have the patient see an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Gout… when is the right time to start uric acid lowering treatment?


Old gout treatment model doesn’t hold up


M. Alexander Otto writing in Rheumatology News reported the old dictum of not starting uric acid lowering therapy during an acute attack is wrong. Dr. Brian Mandell reporting on a study from the Cleveland Clinic demonstrated their findings that showed that patients who were started on uric acid lowering therapy id the same whether the treatment was started during an attack or not.


Comment: Old legends can die.


An old spice gets a new life… next

UA Studies Turmeric to Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis Patients

Sara Hammond writing in Arizona Public Media reported the South Asian spice turmeric is being studied by University of Arizona researchers to see how it could be used to treat rheumatoid arthritis.

Turmeric has been traditionally known for its anti-inflammatory benefits. How it affects the body had not been determined.

Janet Funk, an associate professor of medicine at UA, and her research team have studied the compounds in turmeric for about a decade.

The chemicals in turmeric “can inactivate a protein that’s responsible for starting at the very tip of the cascade of inflammatory events that happens in your body. So if you inhibit this one protein you prevent lots and lots of inflammatory things from being produced,” Funk said.

Comment: More and more is being discovered about this amazing herb.

Antidepressants for osteoarthritis? Next

Study Will Assess Antidepressant for Treating Knee Osteoarthritis
Bill Schu writing for MD reported a New Zealand study announced in Trials will examine whether the antidepressant nortriptyline can safely and effectively treat knee osteoarthritis (OA). The medication is inexpensive and readily available, and it is well-tolerated in patients treated for depression.

Because knee OA has no known cure, pharmacologic interventions are focused on pain relief and promotion of function. Initial management consists of patient education, exercise and weight loss, but many patients also require analgesics‑‑typically in the form of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or opioids.

NSAIDS are well known to reduce pain, but they also significantly increase the risk of gastrointestinal ulceration and bleeding, and are associated with cardiovascular events. Thus, their long-term use is contraindicated in many patients. Opioids, in some studies, have been no more effective than placebo for knee OA patients.

Recent trials of the serotonin and noradrenalin reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs) venlafaxine and duloxetine have shown statistically and clinically significant reductions in pain in patients with OA.


Comment: This certainly reduces the pill burden for patients who have both osteoarthritis and depression.

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