The lock and key that hold the secret to rheumatoid arthritis treatment… coming up next
Molecules identified that are involved in rheumatoid arthritis angiogenesis
Reported in MNT, two protein molecules that fit together as lock and key seem to promote the abnormal formation of blood vessels in joints affected by rheumatoid arthritis, according to researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine, who found that the substances are present at higher levels in the joints of patients affected by the disease.
Their results are reported in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
“Our results show, for the first time, that these two proteins – a receptor and its corresponding binding protein – play a key role in the progression of rheumatoid arthritis pathology,” said Shiva Shahrara, associate professor of rheumatology at UIC.
Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic autoimmune inflammatory disease in which the body’s own defenses attack the tissues lining the joints, causing painful swelling and bone erosion that can ultimately lead to joint deformities.
One of the hallmarks of rheumatoid arthritis is the development of new blood vessels, or angiogenesis, in the joints.
“The swelling of joints is caused by the abnormal migration of a variety of different cell types into the joint,” Shahrara said. “And as these cells accumulate, they need to be supplied with oxygen and nutrients, and so angiogenesis accompanies the joint swelling.”
Comment: Angiogenesis is an important cause of RA. This research looks promising.
For more information on diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis, click this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us4PVIjn7vw
Is it possible to predict who will get rheumatoid arthritis? Maybe…
Blood Test Could Predict Rheumatoid Arthritis
Petra Maria Longewag writing in the Maine News reported new research suggests, a simple blood test may soon help doctors identify a debilitating form of arthritis, much before the emergence of any symptoms, helping stop the disease from progressing further. According to the study, elevated inflammatory proteins called cytokines levels in the blood warn of impending rheumatoid arthritis (RA).
The new study reports elevated levels of certain markers of inflammation i. e. cytokines and related factors can be detected in the blood stream, long before the development of rheumatoid arthritis or symptoms of the disease emerge.
Solbritt Rantapää-Dahlqvist, MD., one of the researchers in a news release said these findings offer an opportunity for predicting the risk of developing RA, and perhaps, even preventing disease progression.
Comment: If this result is validated, it could prove to be very useful.
Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that results in a chronic, systemicinflammatory disorder that may affect many tissues and organs, but principally attacks flexible (synovial) joints. It can be a disabling and painful condition, which can lead to substantial loss of functioning and mobility if not adequately treated.
So… are steroids being used more or less in rheumatoid arthritis nowadays…
Steroid Use in Rheumatoid Arthritis More Common
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage Today reported that more patients with rheumatoid arthritis today are initiating treatment with glucocorticoids (GCs) early in the course of disease than was the case 20 years ago, a retrospective study found.
During the first year of disease, 68% of patients diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis between 1995 and 2007 started GCs compared with 36% of those diagnosed between 1980 and 1994 (P<0.001), according to Ashima Makol, MD, and colleagues from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
However, the doses have remained similar, with mean starting doses of 8.7 mg/day and 10.3 mg/day in the later and earlier cohorts, respectively.
These findings may reflect shifting patterns of rheumatoid arthritis treatment, away from a “step-up” approach toward an early, aggressive, treat-to-target approach.
Comment: Personally, I think low dose prednisone is a good bridge to use.
What effect do arthritis drugs have on fertility? Coming up next…
RA Meds Can Lower Fertility
Nancy Walsh writing in Medpage Today reported the use of prednisone and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may contribute to the subfertility common among women with rheumatoid arthritis, Dutch researchers found.
In a multivariate analysis, preconception use of prednisone was associated with a 39% reduction in the likelihood of pregnancy, according to Jenny Brouwer, a PhD candidate, and her colleagues at Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam.
And NSAID use preconception was associated with a 34% decreased chance of pregnancy, the researchers reported online in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Retrospective studies and registries have demonstrated that women with rheumatoid arthritis typically have a harder time conceiving than healthy women.
Here’s another reason to lose weight if you have RA….
Patients With Early RA Who Are Overweight May Be Less Likely To Achieve Rapid Disease Control.
Nancy Walsh writing in MedPage Today reported that research published in Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases suggests that individuals “diagnosed with early rheumatoid arthritis who were overweight were less likely to achieve rapid disease control.” Investigators found that “those whose body mass index (BMI) was 25 kg/m2 or higher at the time of diagnosis had a 33% lower likelihood of reaching low disease activity by 3 months than those of normal weight.” The data indicated that “by 6 months, they had a 51% lower chance of achieving this state.”
Comment: Yes I know I sound like a broken record but obesity aggravates everything.